On the morning of the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline, Daniel Sprong was pulled aside ahead of the Washington Capitals’ optional skate and told that he was being traded to the Seattle Kraken. He packed his bags quickly and got on a plane to Phoenix to take on the Arizona Coyotes the next night. He also took quite a few lessons and takeaways from D.C. with him.
After getting on the scoresheet for the Kraken back on Monday, Sprong reflected on the trade and how he’s been adapting to Seattle since coming over from the District.
“I felt really good off the bat… I think that was good,” Sprong told reporters following the deal. “When you get traded, there’s a lot that goes through your head, especially when you go cross-country. But I think I’ve been fitting in pretty well.”
The Dutch winger had a goal in his first three games with the Kraken, then cooled off for a bit. After sitting as a healthy scratch for a handful of games, Sprong returned and found the scoresheet once again in a very Alex Ovechkin-like play: a one-timer from the left circle.
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Sprong explained postgame that he’d played in that spot before. In fact, that was his home during warm-ups, but that he moved for the “big guy” after coming to the Capitals. Ultimately, though, that time watching Ovechkin paid off for No. 91.
“You have one of the great goal scorers of all time [in that spot in D.C.]. When you learn from such a great player and a future Hall of Famer, you pick up on a lot of things,” Sprong said. “I’m really thankful for all of that. Now getting an opportunity to play in that spot, it’s paying off.”
Sprong also said that he found a mentor in the Great 8, and that the two had a strong bond and transparent communication.
“You get to watch him and we had a pretty close relationship when I was in Washington. Got along really well,” Sprong said. “I talked to him about things. He would tell me things that he didn’t like the way I was shooting or stuff like that, or different ways to open up or get it off. So I learned a lot from him and I’m really thankful for that.”
The Kraken have seven games left in the regular season and sit last in the Pacific Division with a 25-44-6 record (56 points). Sprong has one year left on his contract.