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Daniel Sprong

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Daniel Sprong
Daniel Sprong 2018-05-05.jpg
Sprong with the Penguins in 2018
Born (1997-03-17) March 17, 1997 (age 22)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 183 lb (83 kg; 13 st 1 lb)
Position Right wing
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
Anaheim Ducks
Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL Draft 46th overall, 2015
Pittsburgh Penguins
Playing career 2015–present

Daniel Sprong (born March 17, 1997) is a Dutch professional ice hockey player for the Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League (NHL). Sprong was originally selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round (46th overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft after playing two seasons with the Charlottetown Islanders of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), and made the Penguins immediately after being drafted, though he would return to the QMJHL and play two more seasons with the Islanders. Born in the Netherlands, Sprong moved to Canada with his family in 2005 in order to further his hockey career. Though a Dutch citizen, Sprong has declined to play internationally for the Dutch national team in hopes of playing for the Canadian national team instead.

Playing career[edit]

Junior[edit]

Sprong first played hockey as a young child in his hometown of Amsterdam. Due to the lack of a developed hockey program in the Netherlands, at ages four and five, Sprong played on teams with players as old as twelve or thirteen.[1] To help further Sprong's development in hockey, his family moved to L'Île-Bizard, Quebec in Canada, in 2005.[1]

In Quebec, Sprong played in several local minor ice hockey leagues while a member of the Deux-Rives program, including the 2008 and 2009 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournaments with them.[2] For the 2011–12 season, however, Sprong joined the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, a Pennsylvania-based travelling team.[3] Back in Quebec the following season, with the Lac St-Louis Tigres, Sprong set the Quebec Midget Espoir AA league (the second-tier league in Quebec; as a non-citizen Sprong was ineligible to play in the top tier)[3] scoring record with 104 points in 30 games.[1] He was then selected thirteenth overall by the Charlottetown Islanders in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft, and joined the team for the 2013–14 QMJHL season.[4] He led the Islanders in scoring with 68 points in 67 games and his outstanding play was recognized when he was named to the 2013–14 QMJHL All-Rookie Team.[5][6] The following season, Sprong again led the Islanders in scoring, and was twelfth overall in the QMJHL, with 88 points.[1] He was also invited to take part in the 2015 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.[7] In the NHL Central Scouting Bureau's final list of players for the draft, Sprong was listed as the 20th best North American skater.[8] He was ultimately selected in the second round, 46th overall, by the Pittsburgh Penguins.[9]

Sprong with the Penguins in 2015

After his stint with the Penguins in 2015, Sprong rejoined the Islanders for the remainder of the 2015–16 season. He played 33 games for the Islanders and recorded 46 points. The team made the playoffs, where Sprong scored a further 15 points before the team was eliminated in the second round.[10] An injury sustained during practice with the Penguins during the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs kept Sprong out until January, 2017 when he rejoined Charlottetown.[11] He only played 31 games that season, but finished with 59 points, the highest points-per-game average in the entire league.[12] He finished his career with the Islanders with the third goals and second most points in team history, and during the playoffs he tied the record for most career goals and broke the records for most assists and points.[13][14] Sprong led the Islanders in scoring with 20 points in 12 games as the team lost in the third round of the playoffs, ending his junior career.[15] Following that he was recalled again by the Penguins to train with them during their time in the NHL playoffs.[16]

Professional[edit]

Sprong signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Penguins on August 28, 2015.[9] After impressing Penguins' management at training camp, Sprong made the Penguins opening roster for the 2015–16 season.[17] In doing so, Sprong became the first player taken in the second round or later to make the opening night roster immediately after being drafted since Brandon Saad in 2011.[18] His first game was on October 8 against the Dallas Stars.[19] Sprong recorded his first goal on October 15, his fourth game, against Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson.[20] Sprong played 18 games for the Penguins, scoring two goals, before the team decided to send him back to Charlottetown for the remainder of the season.[21] When Sprong's QMJHL season ended he was reassigned to the Penguins minor league affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League for their playoff run.[10] He appeared in 10 games and recorded 7 points before the team was eliminated in the third round; Sprong was subsequently recalled to Pittsburgh to serve as a reserve player for their final playoff games.[22] During a practice in the playoffs, Sprong injured his shoulder; the subsequent surgery and healing meant he would be unable to play again for roughly 7–8 months.[23] On December 3, 2018, the Penguins traded Sprong to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Marcus Pettersson.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Sprong was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands. His father, Hannie, was a professional hockey player in the Netherlands during the early 1990s and later managed a team there.[1] At the age of seven Sprong moved from the Netherlands to Canada with his family in order to help develop his hockey career. The family settled in Île Bizard, Quebec, a community near Montreal.[3] Sprong remains a Dutch citizen, but has applied for Canadian citizenship; as of 2016, he had still not received it.[3] As a result, Sprong has not participated in any international tournaments, as he has declined to play for the Dutch national team, preferring to remain eligible for the Canadian national team.[25]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2011–12 Deux-Rives Dauphins Bantam AA LSLBAA 19 30 8 38 32
2011–12 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights Bantam AYBHL 11 9 23 32 24 4 7 4 11 4
2012–13 Lac St-Louis Tigres Espoir QMEAA 30 48 56 104 36 3 5 3 8 0
2013–14 Charlottetown Islanders QMJHL 67 30 38 68 20 4 4 1 5 0
2014–15 Charlottetown Islanders QMJHL 68 39 49 88 18 10 7 4 11 6
2015–16 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 18 2 0 2 0
2015–16 Charlottetown Islanders QMJHL 33 16 30 46 22 12 4 11 15 12
2015–16 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 10 5 2 7 2
2016–17 Charlottetown Islanders QMJHL 31 32 27 59 29 12 9 11 20 17
2017–18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 65 32 33 65 28 3 1 0 1 0
2017–18 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 8 2 1 3 0
2018–19 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 16 0 4 4 0
2018–19 Anaheim Ducks NHL 47 14 5 19 10
NHL totals 89 18 10 28 10

Awards and honours[edit]

Award Year
QMJHL
All-Rookie Team 2013–14

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Morreale, Mike G. (May 21, 2015). "Sprong Hoping to be next Dutch-born player". NHL.com. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  2. ^ "Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA" (PDF). Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 2018. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Joyce, Gare (November 3, 2014). "Why promising Sprong won't feature in tournaments". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  4. ^ "Rookie Sprong making an early impact with the Islanders". TheQMJHL.ca. November 2, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  5. ^ Johnston, Christ (October 6, 2015). "Penguins' Daniel Sprong no stranger to battling for respect". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  6. ^ "Sprong and Goulet named All-Stars". ChartlottetownIslanders.com. March 18, 2014. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  7. ^ "Ten players to watch for at CHL top prospects game". TheHockeyNews.com. September 2, 2014. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  8. ^ NHL (April 8, 2015). "NHL Central Scouting's 2015 final rankings". NHL.com. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Pittsburgh Penguins (August 28, 2015). "Penguins Sign Top Draft Pick Daniel Sprong to a Three-Year, Entry-Level Contract". Penguins.nhl.com. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  10. ^ a b The Guardian (April 19, 2016). "Sprong joins AHL Penguins". The Guardian. Charlottetown. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  11. ^ Malloy, Jason (January 6, 2017). "Screaming Eagles defeat Islanders". The Guardian. Charlottetwon. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  12. ^ Pittsburgh Penguins (March 23, 2017). "Daniel Sprong Named QMJHL 'First Star' for March". NHL.com. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  13. ^ Malloy, Jason (March 2, 2017). "Sprong nearing milestone goal, point as Charlottetown Islander". The Guardian. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  14. ^ Cudmore, Darcy (April 7, 2017). "Daniel Sprong ties franchise record for playoff goals". TheQMJHL.ca. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  15. ^ Malloy, Jason (May 1, 2017). "'There's no coming back' for Sprong". Journal Pioneer. Summerside, Prince Edward Island. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  16. ^ West, Bill (May 5, 2017). "Penguins notebook: Sheary returns to practice as recovery from concussion continues". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Pittsburgh. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  17. ^ Crechio, Michelle (October 4, 2015). "Sprong Earned His Spot". Penguins.nhl.com. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  18. ^ Mahiban, Dhiren (December 12, 2015). "Dreamin' red and white". IIHF.com. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  19. ^ Mackey, Jason (October 8, 2015). "Penguins notebook: Superstitious Sprong begins with confidence". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Pittsburgh. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  20. ^ Crosby, Wes (October 15, 2015). "Penguins shut out Senators for first win of season". NHL.com. Retrieved October 17, 2015.
  21. ^ Pittsburgh Penguins (December 19, 2015). "Daniel Sprong Assigned to Charlottetown of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League". PittsburghPenguins.com. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  22. ^ The Guardian (May 19, 2016). "Penguins recall Sprong, seven others after AHL team eliminated". The Guardian. Charlottetown. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  23. ^ Menendez, Jenn (June 17, 2016). "Penguins rookie Daniel Sprong out seven to eight months after shoulder surgery". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  24. ^ "Ducks Acquire Sprong from Pittsburgh in Exchange for Pettersson". NHL.com. December 3, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  25. ^ IIHF rules stipulate a player is eligible to change national teams once, so long as they have citizenship of the new team and have played at least four consecutive years in that country's domestic league

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Dylan Strome
AHL Rookie of the Month
December 2017
Succeeded by
Mitchell Stephens