Friday, September 4, 2009

09/10 Men's Previews: #4 Eric Springer


Vitals:

Position: Defenseman
Year in School: Sophomore
Shoots Left
Height: 5-9
Weight: 185
Hometown: Wrightstown, WI
Major: Undeclared
Previous Team: Sioux Falls (USHL) in 07/08

NHL Considerations: He’s a Badger blue liner, never know what might happen.

08/09 Stats: 19 games, 1-2-3, +5, 16 PIM
07/08 Stats: 58 games, 8-23-31, +20, 94 PIM

09/10 Role: 3rd pairing (when there is PT or he beats someone out)

08/09 Recap: Coming off an All-Star season in the USHL, Eric had a good first half. He split time w/ Ryan Little during the 1st half of the season and was regularly the better of the two in most areas, besides hitting. As Christmas neared, 60 and I discussed how good Springer was playing, and then the calendar turned to 2009 and the wheels appeared to come off the wagon. In the second half, he was a regular in street clothes as a healthy scratch while Craig Johnson took up most of the PT in the 6th dman spot. Pretty hot, then cold, but not a bad freshman season.

Biggest Strength: In the USHL, he was an offensive dman, but didn’t get to show much of that last season. In the long run, I think he still has upside there, should get a chance to showcase it more NEXT season.

Biggest Weakness: It takes awhile to learn the blue line in the WCHA, and Eric still has a lot of room to grow in many areas. Decision making seemed to be a big weakness when he wasn’t having a good night.

09/10 Thoughts: In a crowded blue line, unless Eric had a great summer and kicks major butt in practice to start the season, I don’t see much playing time for him this season. There are five dmen who will play every night (McDonagh, Smith, Goloubef, Gardiner and Schultz) and barring injury or WJC or the doghouse, the 6th spot on the blue line will be hotly contested. I think Eaves will find some PT for everyone, but Craig Johnson and John Ramage likely have a better chance of playing as defensive defensemen. Eric showed a lot of potential last season at times, and he’ll be a big part of the team in 10/11.

Prediction: 10 games, 0-1-1*
*All predictions for regular season only

Photo from uwbadgers.com