2015 NHL Draft Player Profile: Daniel Sprong Looks To Make History For His Country
If you haven't noticed yet, this draft class is likely one of the best we've seen in the last decade. I'll admit that today's player might be one of the more exciting forwards I have done a profile for. Dutch-born Daniel Sprong of the QMJHL's Charlottetown Islanders is one of the most electrifying offensive talents ranked towards the bottom of the top 30. How he was not ranked higher among North American skaters is beyond me, but 156 points in 135 games in his first two seasons in the QMJHL shows that he's got all the tools to be point-scoring juggernaut in Sprong's very foreseeable NHL career.
Name: Daniel Sprong
Position: Right Winger
Born: March 17th, 1997 -- Amsterdam, Netherlands
Weight: 192 lbs.
|Season||Team||League||Games Played||Goals||Assists||Total Points||PIM|
|2011-2012||Deux-Rives Dauphins Bantam AA||LSLBAA||19||30||8||38||32|
|Wilkes-Barre Knights Bantam||USAN-14U||6||4||11||15||4|
|Wilkes-Barre Knights Bantam||AYHL||11||9||23||32||24|
|2012-2013||Lac St-Louis Tigres Espoir||QMEAA||30||48||56||104||36|
|Team Québec White||QGC-16||5||4||2||6||4|
Daniel Sprong is a truly dynamic player: fantastic skating abilities, can handle the puck like he's threading a needle, and an elite-level capability to pass the puck. Sprong is one of those players who can create big plays even if it's in small spaces. He has a wicked wrist-shot, but I don't value him for his goal scoring nearly as much as I do for his ability to see the play, and pass the puck. Sprong possesses many of those attributes that you simply cannot teach, like elite hockey senses, and offensive instinct.
While he's not a strong two-way player, he has been seen breaking up plays in his own zone. He's sort of the player who will trot around waiting for a stretch-pass, or a breakout. If he were to be a Red Wing, I don't think that would necessarily fly in the type of system they run. Nevertheless, Sprong has explosive offense that you simply cannot ignore. He's a true special teams weapon given the vision he has.
One of my favorite parts of Sprong is his story. Obviously coming from a country where hockey isn't nearly as popular as Soccer, he stayed committed to his love for hockey:
Sprong woke up every Saturday morning and took the 45-minute drive with his father to the only rink in Amsterdam at the time. He eventually began playing in tournaments and traveling to different parts of Europe and North America and loved every minute of it.
Here is what Future Consideration's had to say about Daniel Sprong:
A strong offensive player…he’s quick and extremely involved in every play…an explosive player who can create chances out of nothing…strong skater and very slick hands…a wicked shot and can snipe top shelf...not easily pushed around, but still does need to add strength to truly dominate…he’s adaptable and able to find ways to make an impact in every game...defense needs to come along and he isn't very physical, but his offensive skill set will make him a game breaker at the pro level…at times, he shows some real initiative in his own zone though, blocking shots and breaking up plays…works his butt off both on and off the ice to improve his game.
NHL Comparable: Vladimir Tarasenko
ISS RANKING: #26
NHL CSS RANKING: North American #20
Sprong will be a player who likely ends up being taken 15th through 25th overall. My guess is that if he ends up available when Detroit is on the clock in the first round, he will be the best player available. Ken Holland has always used that tactic, like many teams, so I would be surprised if Daniel Sprong wasn't on their radar.
Daniel Sprong is an offensive dynamo. I'm completely in love with the way he plays the game, as well as his story. While I have mixed feelings about QMJHL players, because the league often ends up with final scores looking like a football game, Sprong's speed, technique, and instinct are something that will be a valuable asset to any NHL team looking to add an electrifying offensive talent.