The 2010 second-rounder has good wheels and brings solid puck skills to the table -- traits that make him an asset in man-advantage situations -- but Spooner’s not the grittiest forward around, and he’s now on notice after agreeing to a one-year, $2.825 million deal with the Bruins, thus avoiding arbitration. The 25-year-old’s numbers in 2016-17 (11 goals and 28 assists over 78 games) were somewhat disappointing, and given that he’s not known for doggedness in the defensive end, there’s been speculation that the Bruins might look to deal Spooner in order to pave the way for Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson to move into the team’s third-line center job. While it’s possible that Spooner could be moved down the road, he'll look to retain a key role up front for Boston, and if power-play time again is in his 2017-18 job description, a degree of fantasy utility could follow, considering his impressive 35 points with the extra man over the past two seasons.
Spooner finished the 2015-16 season with 13 goals and 49 points in 80 games for the Bruins. The 24 year-old forward recorded a minus-9 mark in that span, but on the plus side, he managed six goals and 11 helpers on the power play. At 5-foot-10, 184 pounds, Spooner isn’t the most physical player, but when he is on, his wheels and slick puckhandling skills generate scoring chances for him, as well as his teammates. Looking toward the 2016-17 season, Spooner’s speed and playmaking knack will continue to be valuable assets to the Bruins’ forward corps, though at this stage the team’s addition of veteran C/RW David Backes adds a layer of uncertainty with regard to how the B’s plan to deploy Spooner’s talents to start the season. In fact, if the team ends up signing free agent Jimmy Vesey, Spooner is a candidate to be dangled in trade talks, a chip that could help the team add reinforcements on the blue line.
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 team’s 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.