Archive

Daniel Sprong’s AHL coach: ‘He’s going to have a big year’ in the NHL for the Penguins | TribLIVE.com
Penguins/NHL

Daniel Sprong’s AHL coach: ‘He’s going to have a big year’ in the NHL for the Penguins

Chris Adamski
gtrsprong02110617
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Daniel Sprong had 11 power-play goals for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last season. He has seen part-time duty with the Penguins.

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said he expects elite scorer Daniel Sprong to be an NHL regular this upcoming season. His actions in jettisoning wingers Conor Sheary and Tom Kuhnhackl out of the organization support that notion, too.

Add Sprong’s coach this past season with the AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to those who believe Sprong is ready.

“I think he has a fine future,” Clark Donatelli said, referring to the wing’s NHL prospects. “And he’s going to have a big year next year.”

The Penguins’ top draft pick in 2015, Sprong has 38 goals in 78 AHL games (counting the playoffs). He’s had two brief stints in the NHL, scoring four times in 26 games while getting limited ice time.

At 21, the time would seem to be right for Sprong to join the Penguins for a full season. But as talented of a scorer as he is, questions have long persisted about the other aspects of his game.

According to Donatelli, those were addressed during this past season in Wilkes-Barre. Donatelli also believes that spending virtually an entire season in the AHL will ultimately end up being for the best in regards to Sprong’s longterm development.

“We know he can play. He had some hard times and persevered through it,” Donatelli said. “And he grew as a player, and I think if you ask him he’s tell you that from the time he came in to the time he left, he’s a lot more confident as a whole hockey player, offensively and defensively, just his whole game. His approach and how to be a pro, just from being around (veteran AHL captain Tom Kostopoulus) and some of the leadership group down there, he’s (better) in how to prepare mentally on and off the ice.”

Sprong, the No. 46 overall pick in 2015, had 117 goals in 199 junior games.

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.