Top Shattuck-St. Mary's power forward commits to Brown as he adjusts to his 6-foot-2, 230-pound frame
Jeremy Sprung, 17, announced his commitment to Brown after posting 71 points in 57 games for Shattuck-St. Mary's 16U squad this past season.
FARIBAULT, Minn. — As he made the move from the Long Island Gulls to Minnesota based Shattuck-St. Mary's, Jeremy Sprung knew what he had to do to refine his game to become a top player on the team.
"When I got here I wasn't the fastest guy, I wasn't the strongest guy, and I wasn't the smartest guy, but I knew that I had great hands and a great shot," said Sprung. There was definitely a learning curve and an adjustment living far away from home for the first time and competing with a top tier group of young hockey players.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound forward knew what he had to do to become an elite player and he started to work hard on the areas that he needed to refine.
"I think I've gotten a lot more confidence in my game, my foot speed has gotten better, and I think I've just learned to play in my body better," he said. "I think those are three big factors that helped me make a big jump, points-wise."
Coming into his 15U AAA season with the Sabres, Sprung was sitting at around 243 pounds at 6-foot-2. With hard work in the weight room, he is listed at 234 pounds in 2022-23, but is more likely around the 225-230 mark now at the end of season. It can be tough for 15 or 16-year-olds when they grow to learn how to play the game of hockey and to use their bodies in a completely different way, but Sprung was able to adapt and is now a top power forward for the team.
The native of Kings Park, New York, had a good first season with Shattuck-St. Mary's, posting 47 points in 61 games, but he really started to explode on the scoresheet this year as a 16U. In 2022-23, Sprung had 38 goals and 33 assists for a total of 71 points over 57 contests, which puts him in the top-five in points scored on the team.
Being able to put up those kind of numbers established Sprung as a high level power forward and he announced his commitment to play Division I hockey at Brown University on April 23.
There were many reasons why Sprung chose the Bears, with one of the main draws being that he will receive a top notch education at an Ivy League institution.
Brown University #EverTrue 🐻 pic.twitter.com/SSL1P08ohe— Jeremy.Sprung (@jeremy_sprung) April 23, 2023
"When I started the college recruiting process, I always wanted to play in the ECAC," he said. "It was just a league that I knew valued education along with athletics."
There were many other factors that played a role in his decision though.
"One big thing for me was finding a place where I was wanted and a place where I know that I can strive and the coaches believe in me, where I know that I could do my best," he added. "This is where I feel like I belong. It's kind of a gut feeling when you go to a place like that ... The second I got there I knew that's where I wanted to go."
As someone who is very close with his family, it also helps that Brown is just a few hours away from home. Sprung has dedicated parents, and grandparents, that were very excited to hear that he would be playing college hockey out east and will be close to home again after playing in Minnesota the past few seasons.
"When I went to visit Brown, the trajectory that they're on right now is unreal. They just redid the locker room, they had a big renovation with that, and they have a big add-on coming in the next couple years with stadium-style seating, a video room, and a men's and women's hockey only gym."
Sprung remembers going up to a hockey camp in Lake Placid when he was younger and seeing the Herb Brooks Arena, where the 'Miracle on Ice' took place and also where ECAC finals are every year, and knowing that he wanted to play there someday.
The 6-foot-2 forward grew up on Long Island in Kings Park and is a part of a hockey family. Jeremy's father, Lawrence, played and so does Jeremy's older brother, Zachary, who currently competes for Drexel University's ACHA team in Philadelphia. Jeremy grew up watching his brother and always loved being at the rink, and specifically watching the Zamboni. He skated for the first time with full hockey gear on at the young age of 2 1/2. He ended up skating for the Long Island Gulls later on as he got older and Sprung credits his coach there, Boris, on being a big influence on his hockey career thus far.
Sprung's last two seasons skating for the Gulls came during the COVID-19 pandemic and eventually he felt like he needed to make a move to play for a team where he would get more exposure and compete against better competition.
"Growing up, I used to watch the NHL Network all the time, and they would do documentaries on like Sidney Crosby or Jonathan Toews and their journey through Shattuck and I always loved watching it ... so it was the first option that I seeked and the first one that felt right," he said.
Now, Sprung has just finished up his second season with the Sabres and has hopes of playing on the Shattuck-St. Mary's 18U Prep team in the fall. Since he just turned 17, it will likely be a few years before he heads off to college at Brown University.