September 19, 1988 |
Palmerston, ON, CAN
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||201 lb (91 kg; 14 st 5 lb)|
|NHL Draft||58th overall, 2007
Nick Spaling (born September 19, 1988) is a Canadian ice hockey player, currently playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the National Hockey League. He previously played six seasons with the Nashville Predators organization. A centre, he played his three-year junior career with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. His favourite players are Joe Sakic and Doug Gilmour, and he was a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs growing up.
Nick Spaling was born in Palmerston, Ontario but raised in nearby Drayton. His parents are Charles and Lorrie. He has three siblings: older sister Nicole, older brother Nathan, and younger sister Natasha. Nathan also played hockey as he was a standout Canadian University player with the UOIT Ridgebacks, as well as, he played with the Guelph Storm of the OHL.
Spaling grew up playing most of his minor hockey for his hometown Drayton Defenders of the OMHA before playing high school hockey for Norwell District Secondary School at age 16.
He was undrafted by the Ontario Hockey League after his minor Midget season and signed as a free agent with the Listowel Cyclones Jr. B. club of the OHA. After a solid season with the Cyclones, Spaling was chosen in the 6th round of 2005 OHL Priority Selection as a major midget-aged player by the Kitchener Rangers.
Prior to playing in the OHL, Spaling played with the Listowel Cyclones of the Mid-Western Junior Hockey League. The Cyclones had won the league's Cherry Cup, despite placing seventh (of nine teams) in the regular season. This was the team's only league title in the MWJBHL, although they had won the 1976–77 title while in the Central Junior "C" Hockey League.
The Kitchener Rangers selected Spaling in the 6th round of the 2005 OHL Priority Draft, 118th overall. He played with the Rangers for the duration of his OHL career from 2005 to 2008. He was named the Kitchener Rangers' rookie of the year for the 2005–06 season.
In 2007, he played in the CHL Top Prospects Game. He also played for the OHL All-Stars in the 2007 ADT Canada-Russia Challenge; the OHL team was the only Canadian team to have won both games against the Russian team—the QMJHL and WHL teams both won and lost one game each. Spaling competed in the 2008 OHL All-Star Classic for the Western Conference All-Stars, scoring one goal.
He was named an alternate captain for his last season with the Rangers, the 2007–08 season. Spaling contributed greatly to the success of the Kitchener Rangers in the 2008 OHL playoffs. In 20 games he scored 30 points. At the 2008 Memorial Cup, he was tied in third in points with 8 points in 5 games. Spaling won the William Hanley Trophy in the 2007–08 season, awarded to the OHL's most sportsmanlike player.
Spaling was selected for Team Canada's junior training camp for the 2008 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, but he was forced to return home early as he had been diagnosed with mononucleosis.
Among North American skaters (non-goalie players), he was ranked 24th in the NHL Central Scouting final report for 2007; he was 30th in the mid-season rankings. At the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Spaling was selected in the second round, 58th overall, by the Nashville Predators.
Spaling signed an entry-level contract with the Nashville Predators in the summer of 2008. The contract is reported to be a 3-year, $1.95 million contract. He attended the Predators' training camp and was later reassigned to the team's AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals. He began the 2008–09 AHL season playing for the Admirals wearing #13. After beginning the 2009–10 AHL season with Milwaukee, Spaling was recalled by Nashville. He played his first NHL game on December 15, 2009, and assisted on a goal by Ryan Jones in Nashville's 7–4 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. On December 13, 2010, he scored his first NHL goal in a 5 - 0 win against the New York Islanders.
On June 27, 2014, as a restricted free agent, and at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft he was traded by the Predators along with Patric Hornqvist to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for James Neal. The Penguins avoided arbitration with Spaling on July 31, 2014 when they agreed on a 2-year contract worth $4.4 Million or $2.2 Million AAV. He scored his first goal with the Penguins on October 22, 2014 in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
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- "Penguins Agree to Terms with Forward Nick Spaling on a Two-Year Contract". Pittsburgh Penguins. 2014-07-31. Retrieved 2014-07-31.