The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Daniel Sprong, their top selection in the 2015 NHL Draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
Sprong, 18, was chosen by the Penguins in the second round (46th overall) after pacing the Charlottetown Islanders of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) in goals (39), assists (49), and points (88) in 68 regular-season games last year.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Sprong added seven goals and eleven points – both team-leading totals – during 10 QMJHL playoff games, helping his club to its first playoff series win since 2004.
Prior to the ’15 NHL Draft, Sprong was rated the 20th-best North American skater by NHL Central Scouting and the 26th-best player overall by International Scouting Services.
During his first season with Charlottetown in ’13-14, Sprong also led the Islanders in goals, assists and points with 68 points on 30 goals and 38 helpers. His 68 points ranked second among league rookies and earned him a spot on the QMJHL All-Rookie Team.
During the ‘11-12 season, Sprong played travel hockey on the Wilkes-Barre Knights squad located in the same town as Pittsburgh’s top minor-league affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Originally born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sprong moved to Montreal, Quebec when he was seven years old. Sprong is hoping to become the first player born in the Netherlands to play in the NHL since Ed Kea suited up for the St. Louis Blues in 1983.
Next month, Sprong will be one of 26 prospects that will suit up for the Penguins in the rookie tournament that will be held Sept. 10-13 in London, Ontario.