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Aussie_Wing

Ryan Sproul

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There was a "Huge Number" of Red Wings staff at tonights game between London and Sault Ste. Marie.

They could have been there scouting for the draft but its also possible they were getting a look at Sproul playing against the best team in the OHL to guage his abilities defensively. I doubt they'd use an emergency call up on him, but its not completely out of the question considering how much he's destroying the OHL this year and the current state of our defence.

London won the game 4-3 in OT but Sproul finished the game +1 with an assist.

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This is a quote from Hockey Prospects director of scouting and full time scout Mark Edwards. He has managed to make me even more excited about Sproul and his transition into the NHL.

I coached Ryan for a short time before he went to the OHL. His high-end potential was obvious to me. What I wanted to see was a bigger commitment to working harder in all facets of his game and not just when he had a chance to score.

If you can believe it, he went to the Greyhounds camp in early summer prior to his NHL draft year and they barely acknowledged him. Ryan was a bit down. It wasn't until the Soo learned of the U of Michigan showing major interest that he got back on the Hounds radar. When we signed him with the Vaughan Vipers we knew it was going to be a very short stay. He was a kid who wanted to go the OHL route. I actually wanted him to go that route as well, but wanted him to get a fair deal from the Greyhounds. If they invested heavily, I knew they would be more apt to give him a real shot.

When he went to The OHL I saw a big change in his work ethic. He didn't get the power play time that I thought he deserved, which is one reason he was under the radar a bit until later in the season. I had an advantage. I had coached him during on ice sessions for a full summer, through a main camp and into regular season practices and games. I had the control to put him through drills. It was fun to watch him blast away one-timers in a PP drill I would run. He scored on a one-timer in one of our early season wins. It was an absolute cannon.

I was asked a dozen times on radio and even once on TV for a sleeper pick during his draft year. Early in the year most of the people asking me didn't know who I was even talking about when I answered with Ryan Sproul. As the season went on, more people knew the name when I gave the answer. He had started to get some ice-time and made the most of it.

I measured Ryan myself in August of his NHL Draft season. He was a hair under 6'4" and 187 pounds. He is much stronger now. I was at the game in London last night and saw him pre-game. His legs are huge now compared to that day I measured him a couple of years ago. Same goes for his upper body.

IMO Ryan could step into a spot on an NHL power play tonight and look great. He has natural instincts in that area of his game. He still needs to grow on the D side of the puck (FYI, I speak about his game with him on occasion, as recently as post-game last night. He knows his game) Ryan has improved a TON as a defender over the last two years. I can tell you that the Red Wings staff I have spoken to about him, see him much like I do at this point. He is a stud on the PP who still has work to do defensively, but is improving all the time. Much like me, they think his potential his very high. They don't seem too concerned at all about the occasional pond hockey type play in his game. The fact is, he can pull it off right now so they let him.

There were a ton of Wings staffers in London last night, Ryan was aware they were there. I saw the Wings Director of Scouting Joe McDonnell (great guy by the way) speak to Ryan in the pre-game. IMO Ryan played his typical game. He looked like a man amongst boys when he lugged the puck, but made a few mistakes in his own zone. He needs to be a bit more physical IMO, not necessarily hitting guys all over the ice but just pinning and containing better. I coached Pietrangelo for a short time also, Ryan and Petro remind me of each other in a few areas, including that physical aspect area. Petro has improved a ton in that area.

You won't hear the word "AHL" out of Ryan right now. He is focused on the Hounds and is very excited about the playoffs as he has not been in them before. I'm hoping the Hounds play Kitchener as I think it would be a great matchup. one I'd like to watch.

We (HP) ended up ranking Ryan at the bottom of the first round. It was not a favour because I had coached him. In fact looking back now, we should have had him a bit higher. It was obvious he had elite PP talent, was a fantastic skater and it didn't hurt that he was 6'4". All our scouts who saw him, liked him.

I was sitting with Ryan and his family etc.. at the draft as he slid into the deep 2nd round. Right before the Red Wings selected him I said "This is where the Red Wings get another steal." I think Ryan is proving they made a great pick. What a great 2nd round the Wings had that year.

As for Team Canada, I was in contact with Ryan quite a bit while he was in Calgary. He was happy to be selected to camp and obviously disappointed when he was cut. It didn't take a rocket scientist to connect Murphy to the head coach. Everyone knew Ryan was up against it going into camp. Unlike some, I like Murphy but felt Sproul had outplayed him during both the season and in camp. I will say that I have been shocked by Murphy's play this season. I'm not alone scout wise.

I'm going to go watch the Soo again on Sunday vs Mississauga (mostly for 2013 guys of course) and I'll see the Soo a few more times this year. I'll post back here if there is anything I think is worth noting on him.

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Sproul is playing center tonight due to a suspension to one of the Greyhounds forwards.

I've very interested to see how this goes.

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Sproul is playing center tonight due to a suspension to one of the Greyhounds forwards.

I've very interested to see how this goes.

How did he do? any stats or reviews?

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He only played 1 game at C as far as I know and finished with 1A, and +1 in a shootout loss.

From what I read he wasn't spectacular as a C, and is far more effective playing his normal position.

Since then he's put up a handful of assists and has a 5pt lead in scoring by defence, despite playing about 20 fewer games than the guy in 2nd.

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He only played 1 game at C as far as I know and finished with 1A, and +1 in a shootout loss.

From what I read he wasn't spectacular as a C, and is far more effective playing his normal position.

Since then he's put up a handful of assists and has a 5pt lead in scoring by defence, despite playing about 20 fewer games than the guy in 2nd.

The really nice part is, once we sign dekeyser, would could be 12 deep on the blueline: Kronwall, Ericsson, Quincey, Kindl, Lashoff, Smith, Nicastro, dekeyser, Oullett, Sproul, De Haas, and marchenko. i didn't even mention McKee in this group-still hoping he moves to LW where his toughness would be better used and less of a liability. But 12 deep is really cool!

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