Ryan Spooner, C
January 30, 1992 in Kanata, Ontario
Boston's 3rd choice, 45th overall in 2010 Draft
Signing status: Signed 3-yr ELC; July 19, 2011
Lacks ideal size, but has worked on adding strength and mass to his frame. May top out at about 190 pounds at his peak, but hockey skills will compensate. Blazing skater with explosive first few steps and separation gear. Can really fly in a straight line, but is also very good on his edges and able to move laterally like a darting waterbug. Will burn defenders with his pure speed, but can also turn opponents inside-out with shifty moves in traffic. Excellent puckhandler who can carry the biscuit both in space and under pressure. Uses combination of tremendous hands with head and shoulder fakes to create space for himself and open up shooting and passing lanes. Very good shooter who can roof the puck top shelf from the outside or use quickness of hands for the finish off the deke or with lightning strikes in close. In terms of pure talent and offensive ability, Spooner is at the top of the list for Boston's prospects Skilled passer who can set the table with the best of them- a dual threat who has the soft hands to make all the feeds at speed and through traffic. Not all that physical, but will go into traffic and is willing to take the hit to make the play. Increasing awareness of the defensive nuances as he gains more experience and sees ice time in a lot of different situations. Played well for Providence in a three-game stint at the end of the season, scoring a pair of goals and three points in the AHL.
Vision and offensive hockey sense top notch. Solid work ethic; wants the puck at crunch time and has the natural instincts to finish when the game is on the line. Spooner's always on the go and can quickly sense openings and make the right play. Hunts opposing defenses and goalies: using his speed and agility to circle and seek an opening, then exploding into it with the quickness and violence of the ocean's ultimate predator, the shark. A good, solid kid who is well spoken and exhibits the requisite confidence and attitude to be a gamer one day. His departure from Peterborough last November had a tinge of controversy to it, but to Spooner's credit, he took the high road once he arrived in Kingston.
2011 Boston Bruins Development Camp Assessment:
The fan favorite for his high-end offensive skills and production in all facets including drills and scrimmages. Centered the camp's most effective line with wingers Brian Ferlin and Justin Florek. Showed that he is progressing defensively in terms of picking up the backcheck, aggressively forechecking and keeping an active stick to thwart the puck carrier and take away passing options. All in all, Spooner's progress since the B's drafted him has been notable, and he showed off the kind of talent and confidence that should see him earn an NHL job soon.
Development Camp video: Ryan Spooner
Spooner could be Boston's long-term answer for what looks like the loss of veteran pivot Marc Savard to post-concussion syndrome. He's a similar smallish high-end pivot and playmaker, but a significantly better skater than Savard in terms of quick burst and top speed. Spooner has top-six forward written all over him, but may have to bide his time on the third line with players like Tyler Seguin and David Krejci ahead of him in the pecking order. Spooner could see time in the pros at wing, but he's best suited up the middle, where the team can take advantage of his creativity and skill. The difference between Spooner, Jared Knight and Dougie Hamilton is miniscule: Spooner could just as easily sit atop the Boston prospects depth chart.
"Well, for a guy like [Ryan] Spooner, one of the things that we told him at the end of last year and at the camp, at development camp and at training camp, was he has to put the time in to get better, to get stronger, to get bigger. And he did. He did do that, and all the testing showed that, and there’s still room to improve, but he, you could tell, we take the testing very seriously and Ryan put the time in and you could see it in his play, even. He had a little more spring in his step with the puck, he had a little more bulk in his, he was able to protect the puck a little bit better."- Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli , July 11, 2011
"Ryan Spooner is a great example, he went through all of training camp last year and pushed it. And then it was decided for him to go back, physically it probably would have been a stretch for him. But he’s stronger, there’s no reason why those guys shouldn’t be encouraged. I mean we’ve had guys, you guys well know, emerge out of our camp the first year and play. "- Bruins Assistant GM Don Sweeney; July 11, 2011
"Well, we’re very excited to have Ryan as part of our group, first and foremost. He’s a highly skilled player, he plays at high, high speed, something we want to continue to have in our organization and I think he’s going to make other players better. He’s got a real good mind for the game, I love the fact that he came down to Providence at the end of last year unsigned, but wanted to come and play hockey and wanted to kind of be a sponge to absorb, he wanted a taste. You could just tell that the kid is gung-ho; he wanted a taste of what it was going to be like to play against bigger, stronger players. And he came in and did very well, we asked him to shoot the puck a little bit more and he did that. I think that most of his growth has come off the ice, to be honest with you. I think he’s maturing, as all these kids are, but he’s kind of understanding the work he needs to put in, and particular areas that he needs to pay attention to, and it’s starting to translate on the ice, you know, he talks about feeling better, his, he’s got a better, even overall shape, and size in the right areas and stuff. So you know, some real good progress with Ryan, we’re excited to see where he’ll be come September."- Sweeney; July 9, 2011
"[You know [Ryan] Spooner’s a very dynamic player. Well they[Spooner and Knight] both are, just in different ways, but these are the guys you kind of wait for September to really watch because they are going to be the best guys out, well should be. And I don’t think they’ve disappointed anybody so those are guys, the guys you watch down the road. Because I think they have a legitimate shot to push on people for jobs here."- Providence Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy; July 8, 2011