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Ryan Sproul
Position: Defense
Shoots: Right
Vitals: 6’4” / 205 lbs.
Birthdate: January 13, 1993
Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario
Acquired: Detroit’s third choice (55th overall) in the 2011 draft
CSS Ranking: 54th North American skater (2011)
Contract: 2016 via
RWC Says: Offensive Defenseman


  • 2010-11 OHL Second All-Rookie Team
  • 2011-12 CHL Canada-Russia Subway Super Series (Team OHL)
  • 2011-12 OHL Third All-Star Team
  • 2012-13 OHL First All-Star Team
  • 2012-13 OHL Max Kaminsky Trophy Defenseman of the Year
  • 2012-13 CHL Defenseman of the Year
  • 2013-14 AHL All-Rookie Team

  • Started season at Ontario junior A level to reserve NCAA eligibility.
  • Abandoned NCAA plan and reported to the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in late September.
  • Sluggish start to season, taking 17 games to record his first point.
  • From 17th game on, produced impressive numbers (45-14-19-33).
  • Enjoyed one scorching-hot stretch from Jan. 14 to March 6 (23-11-13-24).
  • Struggled in the plus-minus department, posting a minus-15, second worst on team.
  • Finished fifth in scoring among all blueliners in scoring and No. 1 among rookie blueliners.
  • Taken by Red Wings in second round (55th overall) of 2011 NHL draft.
  • Returned to OHL and finished third in Sault Ste. Marie scoring (61-23-31-54).
  • Saved best for stretch run, scoring 13 goals in final 20 games (20-13-11-24), a 44-goal clip pro-rated.
  • Led all OHL defensemen in goals scored (23) and was third in points (54).
  • Improved defensive play, swinging plus-minus from a rookie minus-15 to a team-best plus-16.
  • Suffered a fractured jaw in late December but missed much less time than expected.
  • Played one game for Team OHL in CHL Subway Super Series and recorded an assist.
  • Signed three-year entry-level contract with Red Wings in March.
  • Returned to Sault Ste. Marie for third OHL season and had nine points in first seven games.
  • Broke his arm after being slashed in early October and missed six weeks.
  • Attended Canadian world junior selection camp but was among final cuts from lockout-heavy roster.
  • Enjoyed phenomenal run after returning from injury (34-18-34-52).
  • Led OHL in points (66) and assists (46), tied for lead in goals (20) and had even plus-minus.
  • Voted hardest shooter and best offensive defenseman in OHL Western Conference coaches poll.
  • Also finished as runner-up for best skater and best shot in OHL Western Conference coaches poll.
  • Produced five points in six games (6-2-3-5, minus-4) in first-round playoff exit.
  • Joined AHL’s Grand Rapids and appeared in two games (2-0-0-0, minus-1, seven shots).
  • Appeared in three NHL pre-season games (3-0-0-0, minus-2, no shots, 19:20 ATOI).
  • Assigned to Grand Rapids before opening day for his AHL rookie year.
  • Started season with 19 points in first 28 games (28-6-13-19).
  • Production dipped from hot start starting in mid-December (44-5-8-13).
  • Finished second in AHL rookie defense scoring (72-11-21-32, even plus-minus, 155 shots).
  • Finished second to Adam Almquist in Grand Rapids defense scoring.
  • Recalled to make his NHL debut against St. Louis on April 4 (three shots, 18:25 TOI).
  • Stepped up in absence of Adam Almquist in AHL playoffs (10-2-3-5, plus-2, 24 shots).

“He’s got the big booming shot from the point — he’s still weak as a noodle — but we see some good signs. There’s more there than just (the booming shot) — that’s obviously a big plus, when you can shoot it like that, but he sees the ice well, too. The sky’s the limit, once he fills out.” — Red Wings director of scouting Joe McDonnell (June 2011) … “He’s played so well and yet he has so much more room to grow. He’s put in a lot of work and since the middle of October on, he’s been outstanding for us.” — Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds GM Kyle Dubas (December 2011, Sault Star) … “He’s a dominant go-to offensive power-play guy who I think is offensively as good as anyone in major junior hockey. He still has a lot of work to do in the D-zone and all-around game and how to be a little harder to play against.” — Red Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer (October 2012) … “(Xavier) Ouellet and (Ryan) Sproul look like they’re going to be ready for prime time pretty soon.” — Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock (October 2013, … “Ryan is a guy who has dynamic, dynamic skating ability and dynamic shooting ability. He’s learning to maximize his offensive abilities in a harder game — in a game where you can’t just break people down, in a game where you have to think a couple of steps ahead offensively … They both (Sproul and Xavier Ouellet) can be regular NHLers and really impactful NHLers if they continue to progress.” — Grand Rapids Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill (February 2014) … “He’s 6-foot-4, he can skate, he shoots BBs and he’s smart and he moves the puck.” — Babcock (April 2014, … “The knock on him coming in was he needed to get better defensively. He’s cared, he’s listened and he’s learned and he’s gotten much better at that area. He’s got a great first couple of steps with the puck, he skates faster with the puck than without it. He has a great shot. He’s a real talent, he could end up being a real star in the NHL.” — Blashill (May 2014,

Boasts a cannon of a point shot, an absolute bomb that could be among the best in hockey … Can lead the breakout and is at his best offensively … Shows excellent vision and smarts … A dangerous weapon on the power play … Tremendous skater, with quick first steps and high top speed, and can carry the puck in full flight … Works hard to improve his weaknesses, and has made major strides in the defensive zone … Tremendous size at 6-foot-4 and a sought-after right-handed shot from the point.

Defensive play has improved, but he could still be harder to play against defensively given his impressive size … He’s shown flashes of a physical game, but it’s not really his thing … Tall and skinny and could add more strength … Needs to prove he won’t be a one-dimensional offensive defenseman.

Combine his 6-foot-4 frame with swift skating, a booming slap shot and tremendous offensive savvy and you have an NHL star in the making. Sproul’s rate of development has been incredible and he’s already knocking on the door for an NHL job after a tremendous AHL rookie campaign. A right-shooting power-play quarterback, Sproul will be in the mix for a spot with the Red Wings in 2014-15 but may benefit from one more AHL season with Grand Rapids.

Player statistics powered by

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2008-2009 Vaughan Kings Minor Midget AAA GTMMHL 31 2 7 9 14 |          
 2009-2010 Vaughan Kings Midget AAA GTHL - - - - - |          
  Bramalea Blues OJAHL 7 0 1 1 6 |          
  Vaughan Vipers OJAHL 8 1 1 2 0 | Playoffs 2 0 0 0
 2010-2011 Vaughan Vipers OJHL 3 1 2 3 4 |          
  Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 61 14 19 33 36 |          
 2011-2012 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 61 23 31 54 53 |          
 2012-2013 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 50 20 46 66 45 | Playoffs 6 2 3 5
  Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 2 0 0 0 2 |          
 2013-2014 Detroit Red Wings NHL 1 0 0 0 0 |          
  Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 72 11 21 32 49 | Playoffs 10 2 3 5
 2014-2015 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 12 1 1 2 8 |          

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