Daniel Sprong has been on fire since being traded to the Seattle Kraken at the trade deadline. He has three goals in his first four games and leads the Kraken with 16 shots on goal since March 21. Here is a deep dive on his first four games with Seattle.
Sprong Producing at Even Strength
The Kraken have struggled all year scoring at even strength. They have 140 goals which rank 24th in the league, with no player scoring more than 17 this season. Sprong already has two even-strength goals in his first four games, which ranks 17th amongst the 33 skaters who have played a game for the Kraken this season. He has also created four individual high danger chances, which is tied with Mark Giordano, who played 55 games before being dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
What is most impressive is that Sprong is having success despite playing limited even-strength time. He has averaged 13:08 through his first four games yet has taken advantage by getting shots on goal, creating scoring chances and drawing penalties despite playing on the fourth line with Riley Sheahan and Joonas Donskoi. The 25-year-old is providing that bottom-six production the Kraken have been desperate for all season, which should lead to a contract extension in the offseason.
Sprong’s Success On The Power Play
Sprong has already made a difference on the power play despite only playing 4:22. He has a goal as well as three shots on net and has helped rejuvenate the Kraken’s power play which finished the month of March going 4-for-29. With the tally, he became one of just 11 players to score a power-play goal this season.
Despite being a strong playmaker and having a fantastic shot, Sprong has not had success on the power play throughout his career. He only had three power-play goals prior to joining the Kraken despite being given chances while playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks, and Washington Capitals. With the Kraken, however, it is a different story as he is helping the offence to create chances and, as mentioned, has a power-play goal already. The team desperately needs the second unit to produce some sort of offence, and adding the Dutch scorer seems to be the missing piece they have been looking for all season.
Overall, Sprong’s analytics tell us that he has been good in the offensive zone but has struggled in the defensive zone. The positives are he has a 52.48 percent Corsi in 52:31 of even-strength play, with the Kraken outscoring the opposition three to one during that time. The negative, however, is that the team has given up 13 high danger chances compared to creating just eight with him on the ice while also being outshot 32-30.
The main reason why Sprong and his linemates have not been on the ice for more goals-against is that their goaltender is bailing them out. Philipp Grubauer and Chris Driedger have a combined .9688 save percentage (SV%) when he is on the ice. As a team, the Kraken’s goaltending have a .8879 SV% on the season, which means it is unreasonable to expect the team’s save percentage to stay at over 96% for the rest of the season. In short, while the team has seen success while he is on the ice, they need to start playing better defensively; otherwise, his analytics will start trending on the negative side as the season comes to a close.
Strong Start With the Kraken for Sprong
For a player that is playing limited minutes, Sprong is playing well. Yes, there are a few things he needs to work on but overall, he is showing to be a valuable bottom-six player that can be moved up the lineup if needed. The first impressions are positive, now he just needs to keep up the strong play for the remaining 15 games of the season.
Adam is excited to be joining The Hockey Writers as part of the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks team. His work can also be found at https://www.area51sportsnetwork.com/ where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.