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Aussie_Wing

Ryan Sproul

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Sproul proving himself a go-to guy, with qualities to be captain

http://www.saultstar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3488761

With their playoff hopes hanging by a ragged thread, with a regular season of underachieving now into its final few weeks, with a city full of fans advocating capital punishment for the coach and/or general manager, and with a chance to prove their doubters wrong by actually playing beyond March 18, the absolute last thing the Soo Greyhounds want to do is think about next season.

Ah, but that doesn't stop curious reporters from taking a little peak ahead to the 2012-2013 campaign.

So, at a time when the ride is choppy, storms continue to whip around and the shore is still not in sight, permit me to help point the Hounds in the right direction.

I believe I've located this club's next captain.

And it can be no one other than defenceman Ryan Sproul.

Hey, no need to thank me.

I live to serve.

Seriously, it doesn't matter whether you're talking about a hockey team or a business: Your most-talented people must also be your hardest-working and most-committed.

Only then does true leadership emerge.

And from this vantage point, Sproul, a 19-year-old (1993 birth year) native of Mississauga, possesses the qualities needed to help lead this downtrodden franchise back to respectability.

Remember when he suffered a fractured jaw Dec. 28 against Sarnia here?

Who could forget it?

Despite undergoing surgery the following day, despite being unable to eat solid food, despite the pain he was still in, Sproul returned to town to be with his teammates in time for a Jan. 6 game against visiting Windsor.

Imagine that?

Bucking all odds, the six-foot-four, 190-pounder wound up missing just seven games.

Good thing, too.

That's because the Hounds wound up going 1-6-0-0 in Sproul's absence.

A second-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Sproul was scoreless while playing very sparingly in his first two games back.

But beginning Jan. 22 in Windsor, Sproul has taken off.

He has eight goals and 11 assists in his last 15 games.

In other words, with the Greyhounds season on the line, when his team absolutely needs him most, Sproul has done all he can to help produce victories.

And when the Hounds don't win — especially when their focus is lacking and their play is lousy — Sproul is the first guy to step forward, while publicly challenging himself and his teammates to do more.

For the season, Sproul has now notched 18 goals and 27 assists. He's also a plus-14 in 54 games.

That's tied for fourth best among all OHL defencemen.

When told of his recent hot streak, Sproul seemed surprised and spoke of how his numbers are the least of his concerns at this point.

"I don't worry too much about that stuff," he said. "Whatever contribution I'm making is to help our team win."

When asked about the possibility of one day being the captain of this team, Sproul said he doesn't think about it.

"But part of my game is to bring leadership," he admitted. "Anybody would be honoured to be captain and that's something I would look forward to in the future."

For now, however, his focus is on seven regular season games.

Peterborough is here tonight and victories, for the Hounds, remain as precious as cold water in a desert.

Which makes you wonder where this club might be with a few more like Ryan Sproul?

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Goal and 2 assists for Sproul tonight.

2010/11: 61 games, 14G, 19A (33 points), -15, 36 PIM

2011/12: 57 games, 19G, 30A (49 points), +16, 51 PIM.

He's having a tremendous season. :thumbup:

Majsheppard and Bar Down like this

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I already have Sproul in the untradeable catagory. He just physically is something needed on the Wings and somethign that is rare enough to be given extra chances in development. So far he doesn't even need the extra chances.

I will be keeping an eye on him. With the uncertainty of the future at D, he could be in GR next year.

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Sproul is having a ridiculously good season this year.

36 GP - 18G - 34A - 52P

He leads the OHL in scoring by a defenceman despite playing in almost 20 fewer games than the guy in 2nd place.

He's already 6'4 and 200lbs at 20 years old...I can't wait to see how he does with the Griffins/Wings.

Danielsm likes this

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Sproul is having a ridiculously good season this year.

36 GP - 18G - 34A - 52P

He leads the OHL in scoring by a defenceman despite playing in almost 20 fewer games than the guy in 2nd place.

He's already 6'4 and 200lbs at 20 years old...I can't wait to see how he does with the Griffins/Wings.

That will be the test. History is filled with great junior players that fail in the pro's. I hope he makes it. We sure can use a big RH shooting Dman with some offensive skill.

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That will be the test. History is filled with great junior players that fail in the pro's. I hope he makes it. We sure can use a big RH shooting Dman with some offensive skill.

I think the odds are definitely in his favor. Lots of great Junior players fail at the pro level, but not many who put up those kind of numbers do.

His numbers are better than Staal or Doughty's and trail only Ryan Ellis' who has turned into a fine defenceman for the Predators.

I don't think there is much question about whether he'll be an NHL defenceman, the question is whether he'll be a #1 defenceman or the kind of guy who logs minutes on a 2nd or 3rd pairing. Either way I think we'll see him on the Wings blueline within the next couple of years.

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I think the odds are definitely in his favor. Lots of great Junior players fail at the pro level, but not many who put up those kind of numbers do.

His numbers are better than Staal or Doughty's and trail only Ryan Ellis' who has turned into a fine defenceman for the Predators.

I don't think there is much question about whether he'll be an NHL defenceman, the question is whether he'll be a #1 defenceman or the kind of guy who logs minutes on a 2nd or 3rd pairing. Either way I think we'll see him on the Wings blueline within the next couple of years.

He'll be big on the pp.

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I think the odds are definitely in his favor. Lots of great Junior players fail at the pro level, but not many who put up those kind of numbers do.

His numbers are better than Staal or Doughty's and trail only Ryan Ellis' who has turned into a fine defenceman for the Predators.

I don't think there is much question about whether he'll be an NHL defenceman, the question is whether he'll be a #1 defenceman or the kind of guy who logs minutes on a 2nd or 3rd pairing. Either way I think we'll see him on the Wings blueline within the next couple of years.

I would like to see him working with Lashoff in a year or 2.Lashoff is a big LH shooting stay at home D and Sproul is the RH shooting offensive Dman. Should be a great pair. We hope!

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Lashoff is not that good of a defenceman. I'd much rather Sproul play with someone like Ericsson who is far more defensively sound.

Although I think Lashoff will finish this year with Grand Rapids, and if the Soo get eliminated early in the OHL playoffs maybe they can develop some chemistry in the AHL playoffs.

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Lashoff is not that good of a defenceman. I'd much rather Sproul play with someone like Ericsson who is far more defensively sound.

Although I think Lashoff will finish this year with Grand Rapids, and if the Soo get eliminated early in the OHL playoffs maybe they can develop some chemistry in the AHL playoffs.

Not sure if E is going to be here much longer. He is a UFA after next season and is already making more than he should. The market might push him into the 4.5 to 5 million range, and I don't think he is worth that much. Not to mention he could also be a trade piece. one of the few we have that can bring some quality back. If dekeyser signs this spring, thne we may-key word there, may not need E anymore. With Kronwall, Smith, Lashoff, kindl, and dekeyser, that is 5 LH shots. Sproul and the russian (name escapes me atm) coming as RH shots, E could be moved. Saves us some money to upgrade the forward group.

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Not sure if E is going to be here much longer. He is a UFA after next season and is already making more than he should. The market might push him into the 4.5 to 5 million range, and I don't think he is worth that much. Not to mention he could also be a trade piece. one of the few we have that can bring some quality back. If dekeyser signs this spring, thne we may-key word there, may not need E anymore. With Kronwall, Smith, Lashoff, kindl, and dekeyser, that is 5 LH shots. Sproul and the russian (name escapes me atm) coming as RH shots, E could be moved. Saves us some money to upgrade the forward group.

I wouldn't want to move E unless its for a big overpayment.

I think E is our most valuable defenceman right now. I hope Sproul makes some of our defence expendable, but I'd happily use some of Colaiacovo's money to give E a raise. I highly doubt we'll keep Colaiacovo anyways and his 2.5 mil a season contract ends at the same time as Ericssons.

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I wouldn't want to move E unless its for a big overpayment.

I think E is our most valuable defenceman right now. I hope Sproul makes some of our defence expendable, but I'd happily use some of Colaiacovo's money to give E a raise. I highly doubt we'll keep Colaiacovo anyways and his 2.5 mil a season contract ends at the same time as Ericssons.

True. But oif we want to make any trades to improve, we have to give up something. We do have a nice stable of young Dmen. They need time and minutes. Forward, not so much. We need talent. Some big (size) talent to be specific.

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You rarely trade away someone who is playing well for you unless there are contract issues or he requests a trade. Most trades involve prospects or usually productive players that are struggling in the hopes that they will regain their form with new scenery and teammates.

Almost all the biggest trades since the salary cap was instituted have involved a bunch of prospects for an established star, or a bunch of draft picks for an established star. Its rare for very good established players to move both ways.

Ericsson isn't good enough to bring in a bunch of prospects, so he's not really trade bait. If the Wings were going to make a deal for talent, it would likely mean moving someone like Sproul/Ouelette/Jurco/Tatar/Nyquist/Sheahan/Jarnkrok etc... Depending on who we moved I could live with that, but not for Sproul, I consider him untouchable.

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You rarely trade away someone who is playing well for you unless there are contract issues or he requests a trade. Most trades involve prospects or usually productive players that are struggling in the hopes that they will regain their form with new scenery and teammates.

Almost all the biggest trades since the salary cap was instituted have involved a bunch of prospects for an established star, or a bunch of draft picks for an established star. Its rare for very good established players to move both ways.

Ericsson isn't good enough to bring in a bunch of prospects, so he's not really trade bait. If the Wings were going to make a deal for talent, it would likely mean moving someone like Sproul/Ouelette/Jurco/Tatar/Nyquist/Sheahan/Jarnkrok etc... Depending on who we moved I could live with that, but not for Sproul, I consider him untouchable.

But in the end, you have to give to recieve. We don't have much to give, that is the problem. The number of truely tradable assets on our team/in our organization is very many.

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But in the end, you have to give to recieve. We don't have much to give, that is the problem. The number of truely tradable assets on our team/in our organization is very many.

You are contradicting yourself...You say we don't have much to give and then follow it up by saying that we have very many truly tradeable assets.

I assume you meant we don't have much to trade but I disagree, we have a ton of valuable prospects that would be interesting to other teams, by my count we have at least 15 that would be of interest, not to mention all of our draft picks.

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Sproul has scored 4 goals and 17 points in 7 games so far in February

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You are contradicting yourself...You say we don't have much to give and then follow it up by saying that we have very many truly tradeable assets.

I assume you meant we don't have much to trade but I disagree, we have a ton of valuable prospects that would be interesting to other teams, by my count we have at least 15 that would be of interest, not to mention all of our draft picks.

ya missed the n't in there. not the greatest typist in the world. as for trading drft picks, hell no! This draft is the deepest since 2003, we need to pick up picks, not trade them away. Most of the draft sites are talking this draft is 90-100 players deep that are legit prospects. I would love to see us with 5 picks in the top 90. We have 3, just need 2 more, which we could do by moving a couple of guys, and not suffer for it.

as for prospects, I count 10, but that is my opinion vs yours, no biggie. The bigger question is, do we have many stars in there, and how many spots to we need to refill on the varisty club. History shows only 1 out of 5 draft pciks ever play 200+ games in the NHL, which also says we have 2 or 3 guys that will make it in our system, and even with 5 picks in the upcomign draft, we may only add 1 more. But that is the current world of the NHL, you have to have young cheap players to free up cash for stars.

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If you're not willing to trade draft picks how do you expect to add a "Star' to this team since from your posting history, you don't think the Wings have any in their prospect pool.

Star for Star trades don't happen and we're not going to blow up the team to get a top 5 pick, so other than moving a bunch of high end prospects or giving up a bunch of draft picks we aren't making a big trade.

Personally I agree that we shouldn't be trading prospects or Draft picks, but I don't see the need to trade at all other than getting rid of some of our extra pieces to make room for Tatar and Nyquist when everyone is healthy.

I think we still have a few years with Datsyuk and several with Zetterberg so if we could get a coach willing to give some of the young guys some ice-time we should have no trouble developing the next generation of Red Wing Stars.

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If you're not willing to trade draft picks how do you expect to add a "Star' to this team since from your posting history, you don't think the Wings have any in their prospect pool.

Star for Star trades don't happen and we're not going to blow up the team to get a top 5 pick, so other than moving a bunch of high end prospects or giving up a bunch of draft picks we aren't making a big trade.

Personally I agree that we shouldn't be trading prospects or Draft picks, but I don't see the need to trade at all other than getting rid of some of our extra pieces to make room for Tatar and Nyquist when everyone is healthy.

I think we still have a few years with Datsyuk and several with Zetterberg so if we could get a coach willing to give some of the young guys some ice-time we should have no trouble developing the next generation of Red Wing Stars.

I don't think we have in future stars at forward. I think Mraz could be one at G in 2 years or so, and there are a couple of legit potential stars in the D corps.

In this years draft we should be able to get a star player, baring something tragic. keep in mind Getzlef was a 19th pick or so (last 1/3 of the draft) and we should be around 15th this year. So we do have the chance to load up, and is we draft well, we could get a 1983 type draft. In 83 we got Yzerman in the 1st, lambert-20 goals per year in the second, probert in the 3rd (who also was good for 1 goal every 4th game for many years as well as the baddest a$$ in the game), Klima in the 5th (yes he was a 1st rounder that no one drafted because they didn't know if they could get him out), Kocur in the 5th-another alltime bad a$$ and could score 10-15 goals per year, and just for fun, Grimson late. So out of one draft we got 4 20+ goal scorers and 3 of the all time tough guys. Take the same type of class and add it to our team now, it would completely transform us within 24 months.

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I don't think we have in future stars at forward. I think Mraz could be one at G in 2 years or so, and there are a couple of legit potential stars in the D corps.

In this years draft we should be able to get a star player, baring something tragic. keep in mind Getzlef was a 19th pick or so (last 1/3 of the draft) and we should be around 15th this year. So we do have the chance to load up, and is we draft well, we could get a 1983 type draft. In 83 we got Yzerman in the 1st, lambert-20 goals per year in the second, probert in the 3rd (who also was good for 1 goal every 4th game for many years as well as the baddest a$$ in the game), Klima in the 5th (yes he was a 1st rounder that no one drafted because they didn't know if they could get him out), Kocur in the 5th-another alltime bad a$$ and could score 10-15 goals per year, and just for fun, Grimson late. So out of one draft we got 4 20+ goal scorers and 3 of the all time tough guys. Take the same type of class and add it to our team now, it would completely transform us within 24 months.

It took those guys 4 years to transform the 2nd worst team in the league into a team that finally won a playoff series.

On this current roster it would probably take a minimum of 4 years for all those guys to even make the Red Wings. For all we know we already had a monster of a draft in 2011 with Ouellet, Sproul, Tvrdon, Jurco, Backman and Marchenko.

It wouldn't matter where the Wings drafted, no matter who they picked, there would likely be a thread within a few hours where you'd tell us that they aren't a future star and that we should trade Datsyuk and Zetterberg for 2 first round picks to try again.

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It took those guys 4 years to transform the 2nd worst team in the league into a team that finally won a playoff series.

On this current roster it would probably take a minimum of 4 years for all those guys to even make the Red Wings. For all we know we already had a monster of a draft in 2011 with Ouellet, Sproul, Tvrdon, Jurco, Backman and Marchenko.

It wouldn't matter where the Wings drafted, no matter who they picked, there would likely be a thread within a few hours where you'd tell us that they aren't a future star and that we should trade Datsyuk and Zetterberg for 2 first round picks to try again.

Not sure what you are trying to say here? That I don't give credit? Nothing could be further from the trueth. But in the end it has nothing to do with what nay of us think. It all comes down to on the ice production. The only way to KNOW is to play. I am all for playing young guys so we can fine out if they can play. There is no reason for Nyquist to be in GR. He can play at the AHL level. We all know that. Can he play at the NHL level? None of us know. Play him, then we all know for sure.

As for development time, it varies greatly for each player. There are bunch of 19 and 20 years olds that make it into the NHL each year. Many factors come into this, but to say any draft pcik is 3 or 4 or 5 years away is incorrect. Most guys take a few years, that is true.

One other thing. In 83 there was no talent on the RW's. Now there is some. We have 2-3 stars and another 5-6 legit everyday players. far cry from 83. That atkes the pressure off of the new draftee's.

Edited by Richdg

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