Pittsburgh Penguins Sign 2015 Top Draft Pick Daniel Sprong

By Larry Snyder

The Pittsburgh Penguins signed right wing Daniel Sprong Friday to a three-year, entry-level contract Friday. The 18-year-old right wing was the Black and Gold’s top selection in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

The 6-foot, 180-pound forward was chosen by the Pens in the second round (46th overall). The right-handed shooter led the Charlottetown Islanders of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season in goals with 39, assists with 49, and points with 88 in 68 regular-season contests.

The Amsterdam, Netherlands native contributed seven goals and eleven points, which led the team, during 10 QMJHL playoff games. He helped the Islanders to their first playoff series victory since 2004.

The National Hockey League’s Central Scouting rated Sprong the 20th-best North American skater before the draft. The International Scouting Services listed him as the 26th-best player overall. He was one of 29 right wings chosen overall, and the only player take from the Netherlands. The 53rd NHL Entry Draft occurred June 26–27, 2015, at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.

During the 2011-2012 season, Sprong participated in travel hockey on the Wilkes-Barre Knights squad located in the same community as the Penguins’ American Hockey League minor-league affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

When Sprong was seven-years-old, his family moved from Amsterdam to Montreal, Quebec. The last player from the Netherlands who played in the NHL was Ed Kea. He skated with the St. Louis Blues in 1983.

Coming up next month, Sprong joins 26 other prospects that lace the skates for the Penguins in a rookie tournament that will be held Sept. 10-13 in London, Ontario.

Beyond The Boards: Sam Kasan reported on the team’s web site that some of the Penguins are on the ice this week at the new UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry. The session on Thursday was put together by former Pittsburgh right wing Jay Caufield. Among those in attendance was Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, Nick Bonino, Sergei Plotnikov and Rob Scuderi.