After a brief hiatus for the start of the Carolina Hurricanes training camp and preseason, our ‘back to school’ series surges on. Spencer Smallman marks the 13th Carolina Hurricanes prospect below the AHL featured in this series.
Menu of links to previous Carolina Hurricanes prospect ‘back to school’ articles
Spencer Smallman was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL draft. He is a strong 2-way player with size, strength and a hard-working style that projects well to the NHL. He returns to the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the 2016-17 season.
Interview with Saint John Sea Dogs head coach Danny Flynn
Head Coach Danny Flynn was named the sixth head coach in Sea Dogs’ history in May 2015 after spending the previous season as an assistant coach for the Buffalo Sabres. Prior to that Flynn spent 6 seasons as head coach of the Moncton Wildcats where he guided the team to the 2010 President Cup Championship, and he coached Saint Francis Xavier University for 8 seasons and led the team to the 2004 Cavendish Cup as the Canadian university champions. Head Coach Danny Flynn’s full bio can be found on the Saint John Sea Dogs web site.
With quality audio in hand, I will give everyone a break from reading. Big stick tap to Saint John Sea Dogs Tim Roszell for helping with interview and providing audio.
(My hope is to transcribe this and post text later, but I wanted to get this up sooner rather than later for readers’ enjoyment.)
Interview with Mark Bowie from The Hockey Writers on Spencer Smallman
Mark Bowie (Twitter=@bowiepuck) is an independent scout for the QMJHL based out of Atlantic Canada. He covers the QMJHL as well as the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers (www.thehockeywriters.com) and also offers hockey opinions and information through his Twitter account.
Canes and Coffee: How would you describe Spencer Smallman ‘s game, skill set and style of play in 3-4 sentences?
Mark Bowie from The Hockey Writers: Spencer Smallman is a speedy and versatile winger who can bring a gritty and tenacious style of play along with a high-battle level to the rink. He won’t wow you but he supports the puck well, can win board battles, and has excellent positioning. He has good defensive awareness and can be relied upon to kill penalties. Smallman plays more the role of a complementary winger than a driver.
Canes and Coffee: What strengths/skills does Smallman possess that give him the potential beat the odds as a later-round draft pick and one day become an NHL player?
Mark Bowie from The Hockey Writers: Competitiveness and versatility are most likely Smallman’s keys to one day becoming an NHL player. He could potentially find a niche as a shutdown winger or an energy player at the NHL level. He’s a capable puck retriever and will need to use his speed, grit, and board play to his full advantage.
Canes and Coffee: What areas for improvement would you identify as part of Spencer Smallman’s development toward becoming an NHL player?
Mark Bowie from The Hockey Writers: A few things that Smallman can work on are his explosiveness in reaching his top-gear quicker, maybe consistency, and working on the velocity of his shot. Smallman possesses the hockey sense to not look out of place at the NHL level but, although his offensive awareness is often underrated, he likely won’t be there as a scorer.
Canes and Coffee: Which NHL player(s) would you compare Smallman to and why (and/or who do you think he should model his game after)?
Mark Bowie from The Hockey Writers: Players in the mold of Jannik Hansen or JG Pageau come to mind when looking for NHL comparables for Smallman. Quick players who are primarily suited for a third line role but can move up in the lineup if needed. Hansen would be someone that Smallman should model his game after as he is versatile but plays to his strengths.
Canes and Coffee: Is there anything else about Spencer Smallman that you think would be of interest to Hurricanes fans that is not covered by the previous questions?
Mark Bowie from The Hockey Writers: Smallman is an absolute leader and team-first type of player. He will always be there to back up his teammates and will do whatever he needs to do to help his team win.
Canes and Coffee extends a huge thank you to Saint John Sea Dogs Coach Danny Flynn, Sea Dogs Play-by-play announcer and Manager of Media and Communications Tim Roszell and Mark Bowie from The Hockey Writers for their generous help covering Hurricanes prospect Spencer Smallman.