A sensational junior year for Winchester high school (a public Boston-area school) made Dan Spang one of the most sought after defensemen in New England, but a serious car accident early in Spang’s senior year ended the prospect’s season early with a serious concussion. The concussion and other injuries did not scare the San Jose Sharks, as Boston-based head scout Tim Burke took Spang in the second round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
2002-03: Spang bounced back with a solid freshman season for the Boston University Terriers, whcih saw Spang named the Hockey East Rookie of the Week for Dec. 16. On a strong Terrier team, full with veteran defenseman, Spang was a semi-regular, playing 27 games, compiling three goals and six assists.
2003-04: After a solid freshman season, Spang followed up with five goals and nine assists in 34 games in his sophomore season. Notching two goals and a plus three rating in a 6-4 win over Providence College October 24th, Spang was rewarded by being named to the Hockey East Honor Roll October 27th.
2004-05: Playing with sophomore defenseman Kevin Schaefer as part of Boston University’s top pairing, Spang finished fourth on HE defenseman scoring with 3 goals and 13 assists in 41 games, second on Terriers in defensive scoring behind Bryan Miller. Spang’s +13 rating in conference play was good for fifth in Hockey East.
2005-06: Though considered primarily a defensive defenseman for much of his college career, Spang flourished in his final season with the Terriers, more than doubling his offensive output from the prior season with a total 31 points in 40 games. He saw increased ice time and responsibility, particularly on the powerplay and he played a major role on the Terrier’s blueline. Spang was among the top scoring defensemen in Hockey East and topped the Terriers in that category. The Boston native was also one of the 15 finalists for the Walter Brown Award, given to the top U.S-born collegiate hockey player playing NCAA DI hockey in the Northeast. He had a brief 8 game pro debut with the Cleveland Barons at the end of the season.
Spang has grown since he was drafted in 2002, and at 6’0 200 lbs he’s not only strong, but he’s become a decent sized defenseman as well. He is a good skater and solid on his skates, with exceptional leg strength and the ability to maintain his balance while giving or taking a hit. Though it’s possible his role in the pros will be more as a defensive defenseman, Spang is a skilled player with considerable offensive ability and an effective powerplay quarterback. He is also reliable both in his ability to defend up front and in his ability to defend a rush.
For San Jose, Spang looks destined to become a good two-way defenseman who'll be able to succeed because of his physical strength as a fourth or fifth defenseman.