My name is Tony.
I am a husband, father to two boys, and a die-hard Ducks fan. I played baseball and football my whole life. I played roller hockey as a kid and ice as an out-of-shape adult. I started paying closer attention to hockey after high school which was about 12 years ago for me.
I always rooted for the Ducks but never watched every game, bought jerseys, or cheered passionately until my unspectacular athletic career came to an end (in high school). I would now say I am more than just a fan and our family is a Ducks family. Even my wife now knows the Ducks players and roots for the Ducks. Prior to meeting me, she was a Red Wings fan.
Which wasn’t cool, but she is awesome and needless to say, it all worked out once she converted to being a Ducks fan.
My favorite player of all time: Peter Forsberg
My favorite Duck of all time: Tie between Pronger and Kesler
My favorite Mighty Duck of all time (from the movies): Charlie Conway (before D3)
My favorite Eastern Conference team: Red Win…jk. That’s a no go. My favorite team would be Tampa Bay Lightning (even before their recent awesomeness. I liked the St. Louis/Vinny years too.)
Alright enough about me!
The idea behind this concept is to break down a single player, players or the Ducks as whole. It will include (3) portions: The Head (analytics-esq breakdown), The Heart (my take on what Joe-Schmoe die-hard Ducks fan sees both from a positive and negative take), and The Gut (which would be my overall view of how said player/team performed based on my eye/gut feeling). I want to do write ups like this so the casual fan could get a better understanding into what goes into a complete player evaluation. I must admit, I am new to the analytic side, so I will do my best to utilize them effectively. Please let me know if there a better stats to site or pull from. Any feedback will be greatly welcomed. GO DUCKS!!!
*All stats pulled from naturalstattrick.com
DANIEL SPRONG – CURRENT AGE: 21 – POSITION: RW – CONTRACT: ELC (two years remaining - RFA in 2020-21)
**NOTE: Evaluation based only time with Anaheim**
Games played in ANA this season: 22
Avg. Time on Ice per Game – 14:52
Avg. PP Time per Game – 2:59
Avg. PK Time per Game – N/A
Goals – 8 Total - 5 (5v5) and 3 (PP)
Assists – 4 Total - 2 Primary (5v5) and 2 Secondary (PP)
Total Shooting % - 14.55
Total Ducks GF while on the Ice – 16
Total Ducks GA while on the Ice – 15
5v5 Corsi For – 244
5v5 Corsi Against - 278
5v5 Corsi% – 46.74
Sprong’s numbers tend to mostly back up the reputation he had prior to joining the Ducks. He was known as a guy who could really shoot and put up great offensive numbers at all levels prior to his time in Pittsburgh.
Since arriving in Anaheim, Sprong has posted a solid, yet unspectacular 50.64 CF%. A couple of Ducks positional comparisons would be Ondrej Kase, who is posting a 56.87 CF% and Jakob Silfverberg at 44.59%. Kase is a play driver for the Ducks and Silf starts in his own zone often and plays on the PK, but those two give you an idea of where Sprong lands on this team.
Sprong has one of the best shots on this team and continues to show it. The Ducks would make this trade all day every day and this could end up being on the “Erat for Forsberg” level when it comes to one-sided trades. Bob Murray has been getting raked through the coals this year, but getting Sprong is a great example of finding diamonds in the rough. Sprong has a shot be a top line RW for years to come here in Anaheim.
Sprong can score the occasional snipe. We can give him that. Something about his game is off though. While he has an amazing shot, he just doesn’t seem to have a big impact unless he scores. The loss of Pettersson seems to outweigh the occasional goal from Sprong. Although Pettersson was not amazing, he brought stability to the bottom pair and since that trade, the Ducks have continued to be a mess in their own zone. If I were Bob Murray, I would ride Sprong’s goal scoring and flip for additional assets at the deadline.
Sprong has one of the best shots on this team. This isn’t just my positive spin. He can straight up grip it and rip it. He has scored several goals that few others could and almost scores them so easily that they come off as boring.
He also has been a pleasant surprise on the defensive end of things, given the fact that this was arguably the most criticized part of his game with the Penguins. He is no Marian Hossa or Mark Stone, but his effort has been better than I expected. It seems like he hustles on the back check and is starting to get a little more involved along the boards.
He does have some “WTF” moments, but many of the Ducks have had plenty of these moments all season. We have also seen some solid playmaking ability. He makes some sneaky passes and Felix pointed out a clever look-off on his last goal where he drove down the slot, looked off the defenders as if he was going to pass, and then sniped the puck for his eighth of the year.
Long term, his floor is a third line, power play specialist right winger. His ceiling is a top-6 regular. All these positive things said, there is something about this game that I do not like. He does have moments where he is not noticeable. He could be more aggressive on the forecheck. He is an RFA after this season, so it will be interesting to see what the Ducks do with him. I could see a Nick Ritchie-esq bridge deal and would be happy with that.