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Sprong makes final roster in Pittsburgh

Daniel Sprong won’t be returning to Charlottetown just yet.

The Islanders forward has survived the final round of cuts to make the Pittsburgh Penguins’ opening night roster.

Sprong was drafted by the Penguins in the second round, 46th overall, of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He attended the team’s training camp, where he appeared in five preseason games in a Penguins jersey. In those three games, he picked up two goals and one assist. He also ranked seventh in the NHL with 18 shots on goal.

“It’s a big stepping stone for Daniel,” said Islanders General Manager Grant Sonier. “But it’s just that – a stepping stone. He has to continue to be consistent, continue to work hard.

“Lots of kids make the opening night roster because they have a good camp, now he has to continue that at the NHL level and we’re confident he can do that.”

It’s yet to be determined whether Sprong will be in the lineup when the Penguins’ season kicks off Thursday, Oct. 8, in Dallas.

The Penguins have nine games to decide if they want to return Sprong to the QMJHL before his entry-level contract kicks in. That ninth game for the Penguins will be October 28.

But whatever happens over the next few weeks, there will be a #11 jersey waiting for him in Charlottetown.

“We’re happy for him,” said Sonier. “It’s good for our program and it’s a testament to how good the hockey is at our level.”

Meanwhile, the Islanders get set for game three of their Quebec road trip against the Rimouski Oceanic Sunday at 4 p.m. Cory Arsenault has the call for the game and fans can follow along with the action at www.islesradio.com.

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