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Sproul’s gains a D-light

Published Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 10:27 p.m. under 2011-12 RWC Reports
Ryan Sproul

Ryan Sproul (Credit: Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

The Detroit Red Wings drafted Ryan Sproul as an offensive defenseman, but it’s his defensive play that’s been most notable so far this season.

The 18-year-old has turned his plus-minus upside-down, going from one of the worst on the Sault Ste-Marie Greyhounds at minus-15 last season to a team-leading plus-18.

That’s notable because the Greyounds are a sub-.500 club with just two other players better than plus-5.

“I think I’ve made a huge improvement defensively,” Sproul told the Sault Star this week. “I was a minus-15 a year ago and defense is one of the things I’ve wanted to turn around.”

Sproul’s offense hasn’t suffered much. He already has eight goals — a pace for 16, two more than last season — and 16 assists for 24 points in 33 games. That’s tops among all blueliners on his team and fifth in the OHL.

If Sproul continues to strengthen his defensive game, the Red Wings might have gotten a gem in the second round, 55th overall, of the 2011 draft.

The six-foot-three 176-pounder is known for his booming shot and ability to run a power play. He also has good vision and moves the puck well, so there’s no shortage of upside.

Red Wings director of amateur scouting said at the draft “the sky’s the limit, once he fills out,” while Greyhounds general manager Kyle Dubas told the Sault Star this week Sproul’s play has been outstanding, yet he still has “so much more room to grow.”

The Red Wings have until June 1, 2013, to sign Sproul to a contract.

NOTES: Center Louis-Marc Aubry (Grand Rapids, AHL) is coming along nicely. In his past 10 games he has three goals and three assists — not bad for a six-foot-four pro rookie who just turned 20 last month and still has major junior eligibility … Winger Tomas Jurco (Saint John, QMJHL) has climbed to 11th in league scoring, stepping up in a big way with Jonathan Huberdeau out of the Sea Dogs’ lineup. He has 13 goals and 12 assists during a torrid 15-game stretch … Center Calle Jarnkrok (Brynas, SEL) has slowed down after an excellent start. He has just two goals and three assists in his past 13 games after putting up 15 points in his first 18 outings.

Following is this week’s statistical report.

SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEVEL LEAGUE GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Coetzee, Willie Grand Rapids PRO AHL 24 5 4 9 5 -4 56
Ferraro, Landon Grand Rapids PRO AHL 19 4 4 8 21 -2 22
Nyquist, Gustav Grand Rapids PRO AHL 25 9 18 27 6 +1 72
Tatar, Tomas Grand Rapids PRO AHL 25 7 13 20 17 +1 81
Andersson, Joakim Grand Rapids PRO AHL 25 7 9 16 16 +1 53
Aubry, Louis-Marc Grand Rapids PRO AHL 18 3 3 6 8 -4 33
Callahan, Mitchell Grand Rapids PRO AHL 16 1 0 1 53 -3 16
Ehrhardt, Travis Grand Rapids PRO AHL 3 0 0 0 9 -1 5
Lashoff, Brian Grand Rapids PRO AHL 25 2 2 4 11 -11 31
Pare, Francis Grand Rapids PRO AHL 25 3 9 12 6 -3 57
Parkes, Trevor Grand Rapids PRO AHL 16 0 1 1 2 0 23
Raedeke, Brent Grand Rapids PRO AHL 22 2 2 4 14 -5 23
Smith, Brendan Grand Rapids PRO AHL 19 3 10 13 41 +2 46
Piche, Sebastien Grand Rapids PRO AHL 13 0 2 2 7 -4 11
Pyett, Logan Grand Rapids PRO AHL 25 0 12 12 14 +2 70
Nestrasil, Andrej Grand Rapids PRO AHL 11 2 1 3 2 -1 17
Fournier, Gleason Grand Rapids PRO AHL 3 1 1 2 2 0 1
Fournier, Gleason Toledo PRO ECHL 20 1 8 9 12 -2 42
Nestrasil, Andrej Toledo PRO ECHL 7 0 3 3 2 -2 8
Parkes, Trevor Toledo PRO ECHL 4 4 0 4 2 +1 17
Ouellet, Xavier B.-Boisbriand JR QMJHL 30 7 14 21 41 -10 88
Macek, Brooks Calgary JR WHL 30 7 13 20 11 +5 N/A
Nedomlel, Richard Swift Current JR WHL 34 3 12 15 43 -17 N/A
Tvrdon, Marek Vancouver JR WHL 32 14 23 37 16 +1 N/A
Sproul, Ryan Sault Ste. Marie JR OHL 33 8 16 20 33 +17 N/A
Quine, Alan Peterborough JR OHL 32 12 21 33 9 -9 N/A
Jurco, Tomas Saint John JR QMJHL 30 21 24 45 25 +28 125
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville JR QMJHL 4 0 1 1 6 -2 9
Jensen, Nick St. Cloud State COL NCAA 18 1 10 11 2 +3 27
Nicastro, Max Boston U. COL NCAA 15 1 3 4 16 0 21
Cayer, Julien Clarkson COL NCAA 15 5 2 7 10 -2 25
Marshall, Ben Minnesota COL NCAA 20 2 4 6 23 +10 45
Sheahan, Riley Notre Dame COL NCAA 18 5 13 18 14 +1 58
Pulkkinen, Teemu Jokerit EUR FIN 32 9 13 22 4 0 136
Almquist, Adam HV-71 EUR SEL 28 3 8 11 18 +15 N/A
Axelsson, Dick MoDo EUR SEL 18 7 6 13 37 -3 N/A
Jarnkrok, Calle Brynas EUR SEL 31 7 13 20 10 -8 N/A
Backman, Mattias Linkoping EUR SEL 26 1 5 6 10 +5 N/A
Marchenko, Alexey CSKA Moscow EUR KHL 4 0 0 0 2 -3 2

GOALIES: REGULAR SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP W L O/S SO GAA SV%
Mrazek, Petr Ottawa OHL 28 16 7 4 0 3.06 .909
Pearce, Jordan Grand Rapids AHL 10 1 5 1 1 3.54 .876
McCollum, Thomas Grand Rapids AHL 7 4 3 0 0 3.17 .896
McCollum, Thomas Toledo ECHL 5 1 3 0 0 2.57 .914

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One Comment
  1. Jay says:

    I am very excited about Sproul and think that he was an excellent use of a second round pick.



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