Hnat Domenichelli and Hockey Club Lugano signed their first player of this “new era”. We’re talking about Ryan Spooner… and it’s safe to say that a great player is about to move to the shores of the lake Ceresio! Ryan Spooner is a player who collected over 300 NHL appearances and tallied approximately 0.5 points per game on average. Many of you, among those who follow the NHL, surely already heard his name. That said, however, let’s get to know more about him.
Date of birth: 30 gennaio 1992
Position: C / LW
Ryan Spooner was born on January 30th, 1992, in Ottawa (Canada). The latter is the city of the legendary Senators and the city that gave birth to several world class players. Among them, some even played in Switzerland… in this regard, we name Mike Bullard (former Ambrì-Piotta and Rapperswil back in the 90s), Derek Roy (former Bern), Derek Armstrong (former Bern, Genève Servette and Rapperswil) and Rod Brind’Amour (2 games with Kloten during the 2004 lockout).
DRAFTED IN 2010… AND THEN A CAREER THAT STARTED OFF SLOWLY
Ryan Spooner was drafted by the Boston Bruins in 45th position overall back in 2010. At that time, Ryan was playing in the OHL for the Peterborough Petes. During the next two seasons, except for three appearances with the Providence Bruins in the AHL, Spooner continued to play in the OHL and wore also the jerseys of the Kingston Frontenacs and the Sarnia Sting.
THE DREAM CAME TRUE
Starting from the 2012-13 season then, and until 2017, Ryan Spooner was able to impress the Bruins. He made his NHL debut on February 6th, 2013, when Boston faced the Montréal Canadiens… and then, over the years, he collected 186 AHL appearances with the Providence Bruins and 329 NHL appearances with the Boston Bruins. To note that between 2015 and 2018, he played uninterruptedly in the most prestigious league of the world!
RANGERS AND THEN FEW “PROBLEMS”
On February 25th, 2018, then, Ryan was included as a trade piece in the deal that brought Rick Nash to Boston and sent Ryan to New York. He did very well with the Rangers, to the point that he signed with them a 2-years contract on the eve of the 2018-19 season. Things, however, change fast in hockey… and the 2018-19 season was not a brillant one. Ryan Spooner was once again included as a trade piece and joined the Edmonton Oilers. Also in Edmonton though, things sort of went south… and the Oilers assigned him to their AHL farm team (the Bakersfield Condors) after only 25 games.
A FAST VISIT TO VANCOUVER… AND FINALLY, LUGANO!
Before the end of last season, however, Ryan Spooner was once again – for the umpteenth time in a short time – included as a trade piece… and tranferred to Vancouver where he played with the Canucks the last 11 games of the sesaon. At the end of last season, Vancouver were in need of salary cap relief, and so Spooner was placed on unconditional waivers… Lugano jumped at the occasion and signed this strong Canadian forward!
On paper, Ryan Spooner is an amazing player for the National League. He’s a player who’s described as someone who likes to have the puck on his stick and with a great hockey IQ.
In order to get to know more about Ryan Spooner, we got in tough with someone who’s been following him. We had therefore the pleasure to meet Chad Zimmermann, who sent us his impressions about Ryan.
The best way to describe Ryan Spooner is a decent NHL caliber player with lots of potential and promise. His career started off slowly with Boston, but he eventually started to come into his own. He had a very solid year in 2015-2016, piling up a career high 49 points in 80 games. Very respectable numbers for a 3rd line NHL player.
His biggest weakness early in his career was his faceoff numbers as a center. I, like many, believed that the solid year he had in ’15-’16 would be his breakout, and he would finally reach his full potential. Unfortunately, he took a step back the following season, both in point production and in faceoff percentages.
Many fans for years had been waving the surrender flag on him, saying he should be traded to take advantage of whatever value he had at that point. But Spooner came out of the gates firing on all cylinders in 2017-2018, and was on pace for a career year, with 25 points in 39 games for the Bruins during the season.
His tenure in Boston came to a screeching halt, however, when he was included as a trade piece in the deal to acquire Rick Nash from the New York Rangers. Spooner went on to finish his career-best season in New York, racking up 16 points in 20 games, for a total of 41 points in 59 games, or 0.,64 points per game, a career high.
The thing that I think limited Spooner’s potential is that in Boston, he never really had the chance to be a consistent Top-6 forward, because was buried on the depth chart behind great centermen in Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. Had he been able to play the type of minutes that Top-6 NHL forwards get and play on a 1st power play unit, his career could have taken a different path entirely, and he could have developed into the player many of us fans expected him to be.
In fact, during his career-year in ’17’-’18, he was playing a lot of time on Krejci’s right-wing on the 2nd line, given the injuries that the team was dealing with. He showed glimpses of brilliance, and I for one was bummed to see him traded out of Boston, especially since that off-season, Riley Nash left in free agency and Spooner could have reclaimed his role as the Bruins 3rd line center, and been a solid, stabilizing piece of the Bottom-6.
Thank you very much Chad!
Well, Chad said very nice things about Ryan Spooner. Let us not forget in fact, that we’re talking about a player who was considered to have the potential to play a “top six” role in an NHL team. Therefore, we think it’s safe to say that Ryan Spooner is a luxury for a National League side! The guy, moreover, is young – 27 years old – and is coming off a disappointing season. This suggests us that Ryan has every intention to get back in the game and then who knows, perhaps even give it another shot at the NHL. We mean, it looks like Lugano were able to sign a very good player. A player who is considered to be a playmaker and also has some leadership skills. Moreover, apparentely he’s great at beating defensemen one on one… and he can even score points. We just can’t wait to see him over here.
Welcome to Switzerland, Ryan!
* Ryan Spooner spent a lof of years playing for the Bruins organization and he also played alongside two former Lugano players. We’re talking about Patrice Bergeron (in Lugano during the 2012 lockout) and Chris Bourque (in Lugano during the 2010-11 season and then in Bienne during the second part of the 2013-14 season).
* Ryan Spooner played for the Canadian national team at the U18 level… and took part in the U18 2010 Worlds played in Belarus. On that occasion, he also faced Switzerland. Our Swiss earned a 3-1 win thanks to the goals scored by Gregory Hofmann, Samuel Guerra and Joël Vermin. Ryan on the other hand, didn’t score points… in total, he only had two shots on goal during that game.
* Ryan Spooner had his first NHL point on October 30th, 2013. On that day, the Bruins hosted the Anaheim Ducks and Ryan assisted Carl Söderberg for the first goal of the night. To note that the Ducks’ goalie was Jonas Hiller, who’s currently playing for Biel-Bienne.
* Instead, Ryan Spooner scored his first NHL goal on February 27th, 2015. On that day, the Bruins earned a 3-2 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils and Ryan scored the game winning goal 2 minutes and 46 seconds into the overtime period. To note that Cory Schneider was the Devils’ goalie that day… Cory, played 8 games with Ambrì-Piotta during the 2012 lockout!