Islanders star Daniel Sprong waits for Canadian passport
Daniel Sprong expected to go in first round of 2015 NHL draft
Daniel Sprong has a lot going for him, first line centre with the Charlottetown Islanders, projected to be a top draft pick in the upcoming NHL draft, and he just got his learner's permit. Now if he could only get a Canadian passport.
In the second year of his major junior career Sprong does not qualify to play for Canada in any of the international tournaments for teenage players.
You see players on the team that you know you're better than, or you can play with them, or be at that level- Daniel Sprong
Growing up Sprong and his family spent many weekends in the freezing rinks of rural Quebec, but not all of them.
Montreal is Daniel Sprong's adopted home, he was born in Amsterdam and the Netherlands does not play international junior hockey.
The family moved to Canada when Daniel Sprong was seven so he could pursue his hockey dreams. And until his application for Canadian citizenship is accepted he can't put on a Canadian jersey.
"You see players on the team that you know you're better than, or you can play with them, or be at that level. But I think that just makes me work harder," said Sprong.
Sprong said his main focus now is on the games at hand for the Charlottetown Islanders, and making sure the NHL scouts take notice before the draft even without the benefit of international hockey on his resume.
"Just prove to teams that during the regular season in the Q that I'm worth it, and not playing in those teams does not affect my status," he said.
In the latest NHL ranking Sprong is ranked to go in the first round in the 2015 draft.
Sprong hopes his citizenship will come through soon. He's waiting like many other applicants as his paperwork moves through the system. Unlike other 17-year-olds, Sprong has an agent and a lawyer helping when they can, but he knows it may take a while before he can play for his new home.
"It's going to come when it comes, and when it comes hopefully Hockey Canada selects me," he said.