Sprong, 20, recorded his second hat trick of the season yesterday against Hartford, bringing his season totals to 18 goals, 10 assists and 28 points in 29 games. His 18 goals rank second overall in the AHL, while his 28 points are 15th-best. Sprong has seven power-play goals, which ranks fifth (tied) in the league.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Sprong recorded six points (3G-3A) in his final two games before getting recalled. His first professional hat trick came back on October 20 against the Laval Rocket.
Sprong was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, but moved to Montreal, Quebec at the age of seven to pursue a hockey career. As an 18 year old in 2015-16, Sprong made the Penguins’ opening-night roster. He went on to play in 18 NHL games with Pittsburgh that year, scoring a pair of goals. His first NHL goal came on October 15, 2015 against the Ottawa Senators.
Sprong enjoyed a decorated four-year junior career with the Charlottetown Islanders of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In 199 career regular-season games with Charlottetown, Sprong produced 117 goals, 144 assists and 261 points. During postseason play, Sprong tacked on another 51 points (24G-27A) in 38 games.
Last season, in his final junior campaign, Sprong was one of the highest-scoring players in the QMJHL despite missing a majority of the season while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Sprong wrapped up his season with 59 points (32G-27A) in just 31 games, giving him the highest points per game average (1.9) in the league. He was the QMJHL’s ‘First Star’ in both February and March.
Sprong was Pittsburgh’s top draft pick in 2015, having been chosen in the second round (46th overall). He was a member of the ‘Black Aces’ practice squad during Pittsburgh’s back-to-back Stanley Cup championship runs.