Center Ryan Spooner might’ve been the Bruins prospect that performed the best at this fall’s training camp relative to his incoming expectations.
However, the 18-year-old missed out on making the club, despite his impressive play and numerous complimentary words from usually tight-lipped head coach Claude Julien.
The Bruins, who drafted Spooner in the second round last June, decided that another year of junior hockey would be best for the teenager, so they returned him to the Peterborough Petes. However, Spooner has now decided Peterborough is not the best place for him to continue his development. Spooner has left the Petes and is now awaiting a trade.
“I thought it was the best thing for me,” Spooner told the Peterborough Examiner. “They have a young team this year and are somewhat rebuilding. By me going elsewhere, hopefully, they can get back more young players who will make them a lot better in the future. The last thing I wanted to do was leave my team to hang out to dry, but I’m not doing that because they are going to get assets back for me. Hopefully, it’s a win-win situation.”
Spooner is far from the first top-level prospect to ask for a trade. Sometimes these prospect-vs.-junior team scenarios can get ugly, but so far the Petes have taken the high road. In the Examiner story, Petes general manager Dave Reid — the former Bruins player — chose not to take shots at Spooner. Instead Reid explained the new culture he and his coaching staff are trying to bring to the team, which is part of the reason Spooner found himself benched for part of a game last weekend.
There’s still a chance for this to turn ugly, but the rumor mill is churning out plenty of potential landing spots for Spooner. So a deal should get done pretty soon, and Spooner will be able to restart his drive toward NHL stardom.
•Another Bruins prospect, Ben Sexton, had a tough weekend. After scoring a goal, the Clarkson forward crashed into the boards and suffered a severely broken arm. He could miss the rest of the season. The Bruins picked Sexton in the seventh round in ’09.