Carl Smelle began playing hockey in the CYO Organization in 1938. He played defense with the St. Catharines junior A Falcons in 1944-1946 and attended the rookie camp of the Chicago Blackhawks in 1947. From 1947-1951. He played with the Hamilton Tigers Senior A hockey team.
In 1947, the team made the Canadian semifinals. During his time in Hamilton, he spent three months with the American Hockey League’s Washington Lions in the 1947-48 season. In 1952-1953 he played with the St. Johns senior A team that lost in the Canadian finals to the Quebec Aces.
He concluded his senior A career with the Sudbury Wolves (1955-56), before returning to Niagara to play senior B hockey with Stamford and Niagara Falls.