Franco Sproviero has adjusted nicely during his first full season in the OHL.
The defenseman turned forward had played 18 games over the last two seasons, but was able to earn a full time spot during training camp.
It was a dream come true for Sproviero, who grew up watching the Sting as a kid. He says it’s all the more special being able to share the experience with childhood friend Brock Perry.
“Me and Brock are really good buddies, we’ve been playing with each other since we were six years old, so it’s kind of cool we both made it to the hometown team that we’ve been watching for years.”
“We’ve talked about playing for the Sarnia Sting for a while, we always dreamed about it, and it’s been a dream come true so far.”
Since adjusting to a new position the Lambton Jr Sting grad broke out offensively in February, scoring four goals and adding five assists in 12 games during the month.
He says confidence has played a big role in his recent success.
“I’m way more comfortable with the league and how to play, my teammates and coaches have done a great job to show me the ropes and help me feel comfortable,” says Sproviero.
“At the start of the year I was a bit more nervous, just trying to get pucks in deep and keep it simple, but lately I’ve been playing with some more confidence in making plays and its helped me get on the scoresheet a bit more.”
Finding the scoresheet is nothing new for Sproviero, who tallied 100 points in 90 games over two seasons on the blueline with the Lambton Shores Predators. He was the GOJHL Rookie of the Year in 2014-2015, and followed that up with Defenseman of the Year honours last season.
Sproviero plays competitive soccer in the offseason, and says his experience as a centre midfielder has helped him adjust to playing up the middle on the ice.
“I’ve been developing that hockey IQ as a forward, and in the second half of the season I found myself getting the puck more, and being where I’m suppose to be. There are a lot of similarities between the two positions, so that’s helped me get use to it a bit.”
He says it was his hardest working offseason so far in his career, and credits Sting Assistant Coach Brad Staubitz and Athletic Therapist Chad Oliver with helping prepare him for this season.
Sproviero has suited up in all 61 games for the Sting this season, scoring 13 goals and adding 22 points.