Daniel Sprong is not going to be in the Pittsburgh Penguins plans in the 2015-16 season. HIs game just isn't ready for primetime yet. His skill set does scream NHL potential though. Throughout the rookie tournament in London, Ontario the puck has been finding him on a regular basis. It is hard not to notice that he has a knack for handling the puck.
However, for Daniel Sprong and many other players who have spent time in the CHL they are being restricted from developing properly. Daniel Sprong's next step in his development isn't dangling teenage junior hockey players it should be playing against other professionals.
There is this league called the AHL which is a really nice stepping stone for talented young players not quite ready for NHL action, but some of the best candidates to play in that league are not allowed to because of the NHL/CHL transfer agreement.
Players drafted and playing for CHL teams are ineligible to play in the professional minor leagues (AHL, ECHL) until they are 20 years old (by December 31st of that year) or have completed four years in major juniors.
Sprong is 18 years old and certainly does not have the four years of major junior service to make him eligible for the AHL. So it is either the NHL (not happening) or back to the Charlottetown Islanders of the QMJHL where he really has nothing left to prove
In Friday's rookie tournament game Derrick Pouliot was the best player on the ice. Because of this he tried to make certain plays that would never fly against better competition. Players do these kinds of things when they aren't challenged. The same thing is going to happen to Daniel Sprong with another year in the QMJHL.
Right now Daniel Sprong needs to develop the mental side of the game where he can combine his really great physical skill with proper game application. Lesser competition will only give him more time and space and that will retard the learning process.
Daniel Sprong is certainly not the only player who suffers from this terrible transfer agreement, he is just the latest that will suffer from it.
Here is to hoping that transfer agreement dies a miserable death.
Pittsburgh rookies are set to take on the Toronto rookie team tonight at 7:30PM. Toronto has some really fun young players on their tournament roster headlined by Kasperi Kapanen, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander. Should be entertaining to watch.
Kasperi Kapanen is already suffering over the top media coverage because of his inclusion with the Phil Kessel trade. I really liked his answer:
“I don’t know how many times I have to answer that question,” said Kapanen. “I’m me. I’m Kasperi Kapanen. I was in the trade. There were other people in the trade. I don’t think you need to compare us. If you want to, that’s fine.
“I’m here to be me and play my style of game.”
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