Bruins Potentially Have Future Star in Second-Round Pick Ryan Spooner

NESN.com is taking a look at the top 10 prospects in the Boston Bruins' system. No. 7 is Ryan Spooner.

No. 7: Ryan Spooner
Position: Center/Wing
Age: 18
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 182 pounds
Shoots: Left
Acquired: 2010 draft, second round, (45th overall)
2009-10 stats: Peterborough (OHL) – 47 games, 19-35-54, minus-5, 12 PIMs

Analysis: Spooner is an excellent skater who’s both fast and quick, possessing breakaway speed and shifty moves to create space in tight quarters. He has the versatility to play either center or wing, and is skilled at both setting up linemates and finishing chances himself. He’s on the smaller side, but plays a fearless style and is not afraid to drive to the net or pay the price to make plays, though that could take a toll on his slight frame. He did suffer a broken collarbone last year, limiting him to just 47 games. He showed his toughness by playing the rest of the game the night he was hurt, with the severity of the injury not revealed until x-rays were taken later. That injury might prove a blessing for the Bruins, as he likely would not have been available so late in the second round if he had played the entire season. He made quite an impression at the Bruins Development Camp in July. While fellow 2010 second-round pick Jared Knight had the advantage of skating with first-rounders Tyler Seguin and Jordan Caron in most of the scrimmages, Spooner played primarily with fourth-round pick Craig Cunningham and camp invitee Tyler Brenner. That didn’t slow Spooner, who put on a show in the camp-ending scrimmage, scoring a pair of goals and adding another tally in the shootout afterward.

Notable: Won the William Hanley Trophy as the OHL’s most gentlemanly player in 2009-10, becoming the sixth Peterborough player to win the award. The previous five went on to some pretty decent NHL careers – Wayne Gretzky, Mike Ricci, Brian Campbell, Brad Boyes and Jeff Carter. … Winning the OHL’s answer to the Lady Byng probably didn’t over too well with Don Cherry, but Spooner still found a way to endear himself to the Canadian icon, as Spooner scored the game-winning goal with a short-handed tally for Team Cherry in the Top Prospects Game. … The Red Line Report compared him to David Krejci in its draft preview. … It’s not all good news though, as Spooner listed Montreal as his favorite team and Alex Kovalev as his favorite player on his NHL.com prospect page prior to the draft.

Quotable: “He’s a solid guy, he battles and competes and gets involved,” said NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards. “He’s grittier than some other guys. He plays with good energy, he’s up and down. He skates very well and has a good skill set.”

“Ryan has been a very dynamic player for us over the past two seasons,” said Peterborough head coach Ken McRae. “He is very strong on the puck and is very elusive down low in the offensive zone avoiding and escaping his check. His ability to play all 200 feet of the ice has improved each season. He is our go to guy when a big goal or play is needed.”

“I’m an offensive player,’’ Spooner told reporters after being selected by Boston at the draft. “I’m smaller, so I use my speed and quickness when I get in tough situations with bigger defensemen in the corners. I can be both a goal scorer and a playmaker. I think that sets me apart from most smaller forwards.’’

2010-11 Outlook: It’s highly unlikely that Spooner will make the leap immediately into the NHL, although not unprecedented, as Patrice Bergeron accomplished the feat after being drafted in the exact same spot (45th overall) in 2003. Still, the short-term expectations for Spooner should be more modest, though the long-term potential is very encouraging. He’ll likely play another two years in the OHL, making up for the time lost to injury last year, then need some time in the AHL before making an impact at the NHL level. But if the glimpses he showed this summer at the Development Camp are any indication, he could be worth the wait.

NESN.com will count down our Preseason Top 10 Bruins Prospects with one profiled each day.

Saturday, Sept. 4: The No. 8 prospect, center Zach Hamill.

Monday, Sept. 6: The No. 6 Bruins prospect is unveiled.

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