2006-07: Nick Spaling took on more of an offensive role, with 59 points in 61 games. He also showed an ability to perform in his end of the rink, anchoring the defensive zone for his Rangers teammates. Spaling was chosen in the second round, 58th overall, of the 2007 NHL Draft by the Nashville Predators.
2007-08: In his third season with the Kitchener Rangers (OHL), the second-rounder had his most booming season to date. In 56 games he posted a career-high 72 points (38g+34a) and finished with a +7 rating. An additional 20 postseason games gave the forward a chance to net another 14 goals and 16 helpers, proving the he can perform when it counts the most.
2008-09: Spaling appeared in 79 AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals as a rookie, scoring 12 goals, 23 assists for 35 points. He added another 3 assists in 11 playoff games.
2009-10: Spaling split the season between Milwaukee and Nashville. In 48 games with the AHL’s Admirals, the center scored 7 goals, 10 assists for 17 points. He added 3 assists in 28 regular season NHL games with Nashville. He was scoreless in 6 postseason appearances.
While he doesn’t excel at any one thing, Spaling has shown an impressive ability to be solid in all aspects of the game: offensive, defensive, and special teams. While few expect Spaling to tear up the professional ranks offensively, he has all the tools needed to be an effective – and valued – member of any franchise in a two-way or defensive checking role.
Spaling is on the move again, this time to the San Jose Sharks along with Roman Polak. Coming back to the Toronto Maple Leafs are Raffi Torres and two second round picks.