Spencer Smallman 2016-17 season capsule
2015 fifth-round draftee Spencer Smallman is playing in his fifth season with the Saint John Sea Dogs including the past 2 seasons as the team’s captain. Smallman has had a strong 2016-17 campaign. He has collected 30 goals and 79 points in 60 games and also captained his team to the top record in the regular season in the QMJHL. With trade deadline additions including Hurricanes’ prospects Julien Gauthier and Callum Booth, the post-season will present a chance for Spencer Smallman to put an exclamation point on a strong season likely before signing an entry-level deal and moving up to the AHL for 2017-18.
Interview on Spencer Smallman with Craig Eagles from Co-Coaches Corner Blog
Craig Eagles () is a high school teacher from Moncton, New Brunswick Canada. Craig has been covering the QMJHL Moncton Wildcats and Saint John Sea Dogs and has been a television colour analyst for the past three seasons. In 2012, Craig started the Co Coaches Corner Blog and currently contributes to The Q News. This past December Craig joined Central Scouting and is currently the New Brunswick Regional Scout for QMJHL.
Canes and Coffee: How would you describe Spencer Smallman’s play in 2016-17? What has been his role with the Saint John Sea Dogs this season?
Craig Eagles: Spencer has been a great captain in my opinion. The team has faced a lot of adversity this season on and off the ice, and I personally think Spencer has displayed great leadership. Spencer plays in every situation for Head Coach Danny Flynn and plays big minutes. Spencer is a great penalty killer, a dynamic presence on the power play and a solid two-way forward at regular strength.
Canes and Coffee: Comparing Smallman’s play in 2016-17 to 2015-16 is there anything that jumps out to you as significantly improved?
Craig Eagles: In my opinion, Smallman’s ability to play in traffic and find the quiet areas in the offensive zone and his ability to score when he gets there has definitely improved. His ability to take command of the situation and score the big goal or make the big play when called upon is a sign of maturity and a great understanding of the game. All these attributes will serve him well at the next level
Canes and Coffee: What are the strong points in Smallman’s game and skill set that give him the potential to one day play in the NHL?
Craig Eagles: Smallman’s skating has improved but still needs some work in order to play at the next level. He plays with grit and possesses great vision. What he lacks in skill he makes up for it with hard work and determination, and there is no quit in Spencer Smallman. He is a driven player and will work on any facet of the his game to improve and have a chance to play at the next level.
Canes and Coffee: What improvements are still needed for Smallman to make it to the NHL level? Given his play this season, do you think he has done enough to earn an entry-level NHL contract this summer?
Craig Eagles: From my perspective and given his body of work and progress over the last few seasons, Spencer does deserve a shot at playing pro. I think Spencer’s work ethic and determination have been enough to warrant a look at the AHL level next season. In my opinion, Spencer is a late bloomer and will continue to refine his skills in the pro game and will become a very solid two way forward.
Canes and Coffee: Is there anything not covered in the questions above that Hurricanes fans might be interested to know about Smallman’s progress?
Craig Eagles: Spencer played high school hockey in Gr.9 before taking the Midget route and eventually playing in the QMJHL.
Canes and Coffee extends a huge thank you to Craig Eagles for generously sharing his ‘from the rink’ insight on Hurricanes prospect Spencer Smallman.
More on Spencer Smallman plus menu of previous MIDTERMS on Hurricanes prospects
Previous coverage on Spencer Smallman at Canes and Coffee includes:
If you missed them and want to catch up, you can find the other entries in the ‘Midterms’ series here: