Former St Mirren and East Fife striker Smith has penned a contract which will tie him to the Cappielow club until the end of the season.
The 19-year-old, who made two SPL appearances for the Paisley side last term, is viewed as one for the future but Shiels also believes he has the ability to kick on and push for a starting place.
He told the Tele: “We’ve signed Jack and he’ll come in to our development squad.
“He’s a front player who has impressed in training with us and I’ve decided to bring him in.
“Do I see him pushing for a first-team spot? Yeah. We’re hoping to develop him and help him to become a better player. So we’ll see how he does.”