The Pittsburgh Penguins have assigned forward Daniel Sprong to the Charlottetown Islanders of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
"Spending this time in the NHL has been a good development experience for Daniel,” Rutherford said. “But it's important for him to have more playing time."
Sprong, 18, skated in 18 NHL games with Pittsburgh, scoring a pair of goals. He tallied his first NHL goal against Craig Anderson and the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 15 at CONSOL Energy Center.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Sprong was Pittsburgh’s top draft pick in 2015, chosen in the second round with the 46th overall selection.
Sprong was one of just five players from the ‘15 Draft to play NHL games this year, joining the top-two overall picks, Conor McDavid and Jack Eichel, and first-round picks Noah Hanifin of Carolina (5th overall) and Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen (10th overall).
Sprong skated in five exhibition contests for Pittsburgh, scoring twice and registering three points. His strong preseason performance came after Sprong led Pittsburgh’s rookies with two goals and three points at the club’s annual rookie tournament in London, Ontario in September.
Originally from Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sprong moved to the Montreal area when he was seven. He’s played the last two years with Charlottetown of the QMJHL, leading the club in scoring both years.
Last season, Sprong tallied 39 goals and 88 points in 68 games. The year prior as a rookie, he was a point-per-game player with 68 points (30G-38A) in 67 appearances, earning him a spot on the QMJHL’s All-Rookie Team in ’13-14.