24-Year-Old Center – Boston Bruins
Ryan Spooner Contract Information:
Signed a two-year, $1.9 million contract extension with the Bruins in July of 2015.
Spooner centered the Bruins' third line at practice Monday.
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Ryan Spooner: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Spooner, who notched 18 points in 29 games for the Bruins this past season, is considered the favorite to replace Carl Soderberg (now with the Avs) as the team's third-line center. It's an assignment that the 23-year-old looks capable of filling, following his breakout effort in the final two months of last season. As long as the slight forward can continue to hold up to the physical rigors of the NHL, Spooner's speed and playmaking knack will be valuable assets to the retooled Bruins' forward corps.
Spooner, who recorded 46 points in 49 games for AHL Providence last season in addition to providing 11 helpers in 23 games for the Bruins, is among the candidates to crack the teamís lineup for good, with at least two openings available up front with the big club. Barring an injury at center, the key to Spooner sticking out of the gate might be in proving that he can handle playing wing at the NHL level. The Bruins presumably would like to see Spooner cement a position sooner rather than later, as he possesses the sort of raw speed the team sorely lacked at times last season. Moreover, the 22-year-old also boasts playmaking upside, but for now Spooner remains more relevant in keeper formats than re-draft scenarios.
Though Spooner, arguably the Bruins' top young forward prospect, didn't record a point in four NHL games last season, he did lead AHL Providence with 57 points (including 17 goals) in 59 games. Listed at 5-10, 180 pounds, Spooner will need to be nifty to survive the rigors of the NHL, but the budding playmaker does own a nice offensive skill set that has him knocking on the big club's door this season. He could eventually slot in as a top six forward, but if he does crack the B's roster this fall, it would likely be as a third-liner.
Spooner figures to enter training camp in a battle for a third-line winger position along with the likes of Jared Knight, Jordan Caron, and Chris Bourque. In any case, it's clear that Spooner, who is likely to start the season with AHL Providence, is knocking on the door. Though he could stand to add some weight to his 5-10 frame (he's reportedly at 182 now) in order to withstand the rigors of the NHL, Spooner has the sort of puck skills/creativity that could make him a productive scorer for the B's down the road.
Spooner, who was drafted by the B's 45th overall in the 2010 draft, racked up 35 goals and 81 points in 64 games with OHL Peterborough and Kingston this past season. He's already a skilled pivot, but he'll need to round out his game defensively in order to have a chance to stick with the big club next fall.
Spooner, an undersized center who compares himself to Daniel Briere, was selected by Boston with the 45th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He is noted for his great hockey sense, but questions remain about how much he will be able to score once he turns pro. That being said, he did put up 54 points in just 47 games with Peterborough of the OHL this past season.