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Top 25 Under 25 - #4 Ryan Spooner

Spoons squeaks passed Koko as our (Spoiler Alert?) Top Center Under 25.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

SB Nation 2014 NHL Preview

Height: 5'10"
Weight: 181
Born: Jan. 30, 1992
Drafted: Boston - 2nd Round, 2010 (#45 Overall)

Player Change From 2013 Mike Sarah Cornelius Sean Servo Nolan Dan Giesse Kristian
Ryan Spooner
-2 6 4 4 3 4 7 11 6 4

The Bruins made more cuts on Sunday, and as of right now center Ryan Spooner has still got a chance at cracking the final 23 come October 8th. Spoons has played well in his first few preseason games, with 1G, 1A and 6 SOG in three games played. He's also won the majority of his faceoffs this preseason, with a decisive advantage against Montreal and Washington (at home). Despite some choice words from Claude "Because I'm the Coach" Julien, his spark and potential have a chance to make the 3rd and 4th lines a wee bit more exciting in 2014-15.

This won't be Spooner's first crack at the NHL, but it would be his best shot thus far to play consistently. He played 23 games for the B's in 2013-14 due to the injury problems of Chris Kelly and Loui Eriksson, tallying 11 assists and 42 SOG. His best game came against Nashville last December, in which he and Carl Soderberg connected to create 3 goals on the way to a 6-2 rout over the Preds. When he eventually was sent back down just before the Sochi break, he continued to be one of the P-Bruins best playmakers. In 49 games played for Providence, Spooner was 11-35-46. And he followed the season up with an even more impressive 6-9-15 run in their 12 playoff games

Spoonman was a late cut last camp, losing a wing spot to Reilly Smith, who--to be fair--is a winger. While the center bottleneck isn't different from last year, with Kelly, Soderberg and Campbell clogging up the 3rd and 4th line, Kelly & Soderberg both showed their willingness and competence playing the wing position, and Campbell stated over the summer he'd be willing to move and skate along the boards. Something lost in Kelly's contract and lack of production over the last two seasons is the fact that Chris Kelly is really fast. A line of Kelly, Spooner and Paille? That's a line a lot of teams would have to chase.

Providence's captain has been a top liner, sharing the wealth with Alexander Khokhlachev, also a center. While Koko has more of a knack for scoring, Spooner has a more polished and NHL-ready game. As much as Julien said Spooner needs to work on his defensive game, Koko shares a little bit of Ovechkin's Russian trait of all offense, all the time, and very little two-way GTFB-ness. And Spooner tends to follow coaching too. They asked him to go to the net. He went into the net.

More than just his past performance, 2014-15 will prove to be an important year for Spooner as it's the final year of his entry-level contract, before he becomes an RFA next year. If he does make the team full-time, it'll be his first year in the league and somewhat of a contract year. And he should make the team, because with the team's cap issues this year and going forward, Chiarelli could use a productive center on the 3rd or 4th line earning just $760k.

The time has come for Ryan Spooner, and the inevitable bombardment of Spoon-puns (because you know Jack Edwards has a composition notebook full of cringe-worthy and awesome one-liners just waiting screamed over the NESN airwaves).