2015 Sabres Draft Profiles: Daniel Sprong
Daniel Sprong is a player that could still be in the board if the Sabres stay at 21st.
Current team: Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL)
Weight: 192 lbs.
Central Scouting ranking: 20 (North America)
ISS Ranking: 26
The Sabres have amassed a crazy amount of young talent, which could allow them to take a player who is a bit more of a risk, like Daniel Sprong.
There are few in the draft with the upside that Sprong has. He's a excels as a skater, passer and puckhandler. The offense is all there, as he lead the QMJHL with 88 points, a league that is a tad infamous for inflated numbers. He's led Charlottetown in scoring in both his junior seasons, helping the Islanders earn two straight playoff berths. His sophomore season he trailed only Winnipeg first-round pick Nikolaj Ehlers in first-year scoring in the QMJHL, which is quite the company to have.
So what's wrong with him is the real question, when he's sitting towards the end of the first round in most rankings and mock drafts. He's got some size, but he's not physical. His defensive abilities are lacking. He's got the raw talent, but started off this season slow and there are worries about his ability to deal with pressure.
Sprong is a native of the Netherlands, but he and his family moved to Canada when he was seven-years-old so he could have a better chance of a hockey career. The last Dutch player in the NHL was Ed Kea in the 80s, who played over 500 games in the league.
Sprong fits in with a Sabres need at right wing, and could serve as an offensive specialist that the Sabres don't currently have on their roster. There's a bit of a risk with Sprong, but since the Sabres have much of their main core together already and with where he'll likely be pick they are searching for more role type players anyways.
He should be available at 21 for the Sabres, but could possibly slip to their 31st pick.
What They're Saying
"A prolific scoring winger who possesses an elite-level skillset: has dynamic skating ability, is a creative passer, and has incredible puckhandling ability. While he is offensively dominant, he is also defensively responsible. A very hard working player who strives to improve all aspects of his game. Absolutely electric."
-Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects
"As a sophomore, he was top-20 agongst all players in the 'Q," even if the effort was uneven. 'Tremendous puck skills,' said another scout. 'He's a really good skater,but I have issues with his engagement and involvement. He can play. Not many can match his skill set.' Because of the risk-reward, Sprong is perhaps the perfect pick for a team with multiple first rounders."
-The Hockey News
"A strong offensive player…he’s quick and extremely involved in every play…an explosive player who can create chances out of nothing…strong skater and very slick hands…a wicked shot and can snipe top shelf...not easily pushed around, but still does need to add strength to truly dominate…he’s adaptable and able to find ways to make an impact in every game...defense needs to come along and he isn't very physical, but his offensive skill set will make him a game breaker at the pro level…at times, he shows some real initiative in his own zone though, blocking shots and breaking up plays…works his butt off both on and off the ice to improve his game."
"He has blazing speed, a great shot, and the puck skills and hockey sense to be an effective playmaker."
-Dan Marr, NHL Central Scouting