Thursday, August 18, 2022

Michigan State commit Jack Sparkes selected by LA Kings in sixth round of NHL Draft

July 8, 2022
<p>MSU hockey gets ready for another game against Michigan on January 9, 2021 at Munn Ice Arena. The Spartans defeated the Woverines, 3-2.</p>

MSU hockey gets ready for another game against Michigan on January 9, 2021 at Munn Ice Arena. The Spartans defeated the Woverines, 3-2.

Photo by Lauren Snyder | The State News

Michigan State commit Jack Sparkes has been selected 180th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the sixth round of the 2022 NHL Draft. 

Standing at a giant 6-foot-8, 235 pounds, Sparkes is a Toronto native who played the 2021-22 season with the St. Michael’s Buzzers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. In 37 games, he tallied five goals and seven assists while making his commitment to MSU in late November. Sparkes is expected to arrive in East Lansing ahead of the 2023-24 season. 

The Athletic’s Corey Pronman had this to say about Sparkes’ profile:

“Sparkes’ athletic tool kit is very appealing. He’s a 6-foot-8 defenseman who is quite mobile for his frame. He’s not a blazer but when you see him come up the ice you can easily envision that tool kit in the NHL. Sparkes uses his body, has a big slap shot and has flashes of puck skills, making him a highly appealing pro prospect for several reasons. His offensive game is a long ways away though, showing little poise or puck-moving ability. He will be a three-to-four year guy in college, but if he hits, he could be a player.”

Former Michigan State forward Josh Nodler was the last Spartan selected into the NHL Draft, a fifth-round pick by the Calgary Flames in 2019. Although, MSU’s most recent addition to next year’s roster, Swedish defenseman Viktor Hurtig, was a sixth-round selection by the New Jersey Devils in last year’s draft. Twin fifth-year defenseman Christian and Cole Krygier are the only other NHL draftees on the roster, both as late-round picks in 2018. 

New head coach Adam Nightingale had his fingerprints on Thursday’s first round from his most recent role as head coach for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program Under-18 team. Six of his players were selected in the first round, two of which were in the top five.

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