LA Kings Prospect Profiles: Jordan Spence

LA Kings Prospect Profiles Quinton Byfield, Arthur Kaliyev, and Tobias Bjornfot

Jordan Spence

2020-21 Team: Val-d’Or Foreurs
Date of Birth: February 24, 2001
Place of Birth: Manly, AUS
Ht: 5-foot-10
Wt: 164 pounds
Shoots: Right
Position: D
Acquired: 2019 NHL Draft #95 overall

Jordan Spence Bio

Jordan Spence might have the most interesting background of any NHL prospect; he was born in Australia, raised in Japan, and became a Canadian as a teenager. He played midget hockey with the Charlottetown Pride of the New Brunswick-Prince Edward Island Major Midget Hockey League (NBPEIMMHL) before moving on to junior hockey.

Spence started his junior career in the 2017-18 season with the Summerside Western Capitals after being selected 40th overall in the 2017 Maritime Junior Hockey League (MJAHL) Draft. In his first season, he put up 13 goals and 39 assists in 50 games.

Jordan Spence, Moncton Wildcats
Jordan Spence, Moncton Wildcats (Photo Courtesy of Daniel St. Louis, Moncton Wildcats)

Spence was drafted 20th overall in the 2018 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) Draft by the Moncton Wildcats. He recorded six goals and 43 assists in his first season with the team—it was also his pre-draft campaign. The Los Angeles Kings selected him in the fourth round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, 95th overall.

Spence returned to Moncton in 2019-20 but was traded from the team last season to the Val-d’Or Foreurs. He played his first 13 games of the season with the Wildcats, adding 19 more with Val-d’Or—in total, he put up 10 goals and 30 assists. He also played for Team Canada at the WJC, scoring one goal in the two games he played.

Scouting Report

Spence’s main strength is his hockey IQ; he has incredible hockey sense, and he has the skill to make the plays he sees in his head. That said, he struggles with the physical aspect of the game due to his size. Standing at just 5-foot-10, 164 pounds, he doesn’t carry the intimidation factor that many defensemen do, and when the game gets physical, he has a hard time keeping up.

NHL Projection

Getting to the NHL as a full-time roster player will certainly be a difficult task for Spence, but by no means is it impossible. Looking at the Kings’ defensive pipeline, there is an open spot on the right side of the future third pair. In all likelihood, Brandt Clarke and Kale Clague will take the right side on the top two pairs, leaving one more position up for grabs.

Brandt Clarke Barrie Colts
Brandt Clarke of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Spence has competition, though, when it comes to taking the final spot on the right side; Helge Grans, Brock Faber, and Sean Durzi could all compete for the spot down the road, so Spence will have to continue to raise his level of play. If he does crack the roster in the future, his playmaking ability could also land him on the second power-play unit, quarterbacking the man advantage.

As far as a current NHL comparison, both Jared Spurgeon and Victor Mete come to mind; they are both smaller players—5-foot-9, 167 pounds and 5-foot-9, 184 pounds, respectively—and they lean on their puck movement skills like Spence to make up for their lack of a physical presence.

Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild
Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild, January 14, 2019 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Spurgeon, the captain of the Minnesota Wild, has never been elite offensively—his career-high points total for a single season sits at 43—but he has become a crucial part of his team due to his hard work and contributions all over the ice. Mete, on the other hand, had a tough time staying in the lineup last season; he played just 28 games and recorded one goal and four assists.

When it comes to smaller players, like Spurgeon and Mete, it is difficult to project how they will do in the NHL, and Spence is no exception. While he could become a regular on LA’s roster, filling a role on the third pair and second power-play unit, if he can’t figure out the physical aspect of the game, we likely won’t be seeing much of him in a Kings jersey.

Quotables

He’s an excellent passer with really good on-ice vision.

Hockeyprospect.com

Spence became Summerside’s top defenceman, logging big minutes in every situation. He put a heavy emphasis on improving his skating and proved the value he could have on both sides of the puck.

Liam Fox/Hockey Canada

He has just the right amount of flash…He’s not flashy to a point where it’s risky. With him, everything doesn’t need to be high-risk/reward.

Darryl Boyce, former coach of the Moncton Wildcats, on Spence.

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