Boston Bruins Prospect Report: Ryan Spooner
(June 25, 2010 – Source: Harry How/Getty Images North America)
By Benjamin Woodward (@_BWoodward)
Player: Ryan Spooner
2011-’12 Team: Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) / Sarnia Sting (OHL)
Drafted: Second Round (45th Overall), 2010
Vitals: 5’10”, 175 lbs., Age 20
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Camp Observations: If you’re a fan of all-world offense, dazzling dangles and pinpoint shooting accuracy enough to make Navy Seal snipers jealous, the player to watch at Boston Bruins development camp this July was none other than Ryan Spooner. The supremely skilled forward was extremely impressive during camp week as his extraordinary arsenal of offense was on full display. His uncanny on-ice vision and deceptive speed remind me a lot of a younger Marc Savard.
Future: Through four years of experience at the junior hockey level, Spooner has spent time with three Ontario Hockey League franchises; the Peterborough Petes, the Kingston Frontenacs and the Sarnia Sting. Over that time, the Ottawa, Ontario native overcame injuries and a lengthy battle with mononucleosis — that kept him out of the 2011 World Junior Championship — to register 113 goals and add 146 assists. After a dominating senior season in the OHL (29G/37A), the 20-year-old blue chipper believes himself ready to make the next step in his hockey career.
“I’ve been playing junior hockey for four years. As a hockey player, I think I’m ready to move on. I think that my skill set is there. I kind of just need to focus on a couple of little things, and that being said, you learn from your mistakes. Once I start playing pro hockey, I can gauge where I am, and gauge the mistakes I’ve been making so I can learn from them.” — Ryan Spooner
After his junior squad has been bounced early in the Memorial Cup playoffs these past two seasons, Spooner has been assigned to the Bruins’ American Hockey League Affiliate in Providence, where he was able to get his first taste of competition at the pro level.
“It’s helped a lot. It’s totally different from junior hockey. You go play there and you’re playing against men, guys that are a lot bigger and a lot stronger. In terms of doing all the little things, in the games I’ve played there, I learned a lot. They have a great coaching staff there and all the older guys on the team really helped me out.” – Ryan Spooner
Spooner is set to become a full-time professional this fall after signing his entry-level contract last July. If he doesn’t make the big club out of training camp, he will return to Providence to begin his first full season in the AHL.
Potential: Much like fellow Bruins’ prospect Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Spooner’s name has likely come up quite often in trade discussions over the past two years. This is due to Spooner’s rare combination of speed and creativity that any NHL general manager would obviously covet. However, Boston front office boss Peter Chiarelli has been reluctant to include Spooner in any type of trade proposal sent his way.
Spooner is able to make his linemates better through his tremendous puck-carrying skills and an uncanny ability to find the open man. It wouldn’t be farfetched to suggest that Spooner has 30-goal potential at the NHL level, and could become a staple in the Boston top-six for many years to come.
After making it to the final cut at each of the past two training camps, expect Spooner to make a serious push for a roster spot in the fall.
“That’s a great time of the year. I get real excited for that. You train all summer to get to that time, so obviously I’m pretty pumped.” — Ryan Spooner
While his defensive game is still a work in progress, Spooner’s offensive talent is already NHL caliber. Do not be surprised if the 20-year-old rookie steals the show in September and wins the job as left wing on Boston’s third line.
Please check out the rest of my Boston Bruins prospect reports published earlier this summer.
D Dougie Hamilton
D Tommy Cross