Smarts: Spurgeon reads the ice very well. He knows when to pinch, when to sag back, when to apply pressure on the puck-carrier, etc. His IQ and anticipation allow him to influence the game at both ends of the ice, as he consistently nips the opposition’s plays in the bud while tilting the ice in his club’s favor.
Work Rate: In addition, he displays fantastic motor. He never stops hustling, denying time and space in the neutral zone and battling hard in the trenches. Through his mobility, energy and decision-making, Spurgeon ensures that his team is always in good shape.
Puck Management: There’s nothing fancy about his game, but he’s awfully effective with the puck. He can be counted on to make the right play, whether that’s spotting the best outlet on the breakout or the best option in the offensive zone. When he’s on the ice, the puck doesn’t stick.
Size: There are clear drawbacks to his 5’9”, 167-pound build. Though he’s outstanding at gap control and zone denials, when opponents do gain entry, Spurgeon can be outmuscled and overwhelmed in net-front situations. Containing forwards who are heavy on the puck can be quite an adventure.
PK: His diminutive size is even more apparent on the penalty kill, where his best traits aren’t as valuable. Here, his shorter reach and weaker frame can be exposed. He has trouble disrupting passing lanes and clearing out the front of the net. When he tries to front point shots and fails to block them, it becomes much more difficult to regain inside leverage.