Defense-first minded blueliner with excellent hockey IQ, and vision that could see him develop into a serviceable bottom-4 defender.
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April 2018 – Due to a healthy prospect pool on the blueline, Matt Spencer had a versatile rookie season in the Lightning’s farm system, playing about a quarter of his season in the Adirondack’s with the Thunder, and the rest with the Lightning’s AHL squad in Syracuse. Labeled as a two-way defender at the OHL level, Spencer struggled to pin down his offensive game in his somewhat limited opportunity with the Crunch, as well as in his role with the Thunder. The former second-round selection still has potential with the organization and has another two seasons remaining on his entry level contract to prove it. His path will certainly be rockier than most if he is able to get a grasp on the professional level of the game, and after a rookie season involving some sacrifice, the 21-year-old should be able to lock down a permanent role in Syracuse next fall. Brayden Olafson April 29 – Spencer was offensively absent from the Petes’ season-ending series at the hands of the Mississauga Steelheads. Although the righty was able to accrue seven points through the first two rounds of the OHL playoffs, his offensive instincts, much like the rest of his teammates, seemingly evaporated. The second-round pick seemed to be more of a defensive burden through the series as well, finishing a minus-7, bringing his playoff total to a plus-9. Brayden Olafson February 2017 – The 2015 second round pick’s production has shown moderate growth in his draft+2 campaign, however his trend in production since being drafted is not astounding. Being a right-handed shot is probably the best thing that Spencer has going for him at this point. He will require some professional development in either the AHL or ECHL to hone his fundamentals before getting a sniff at the big league. Brayden Olafson April 2016 – Matthew Spencer finished a very good season with the Peterborough Petes where they made the first round of the OHL Playoffs and were eliminated by the North Bay Battalion. Spencer excelled in his role with the Petes and was terrific on the blue line. Spencer plays a two way style who sees the ice well and can sense plays developing. He developed those skills this year while also becoming a more physical player. Spencer has been added to the Lightning’s AHL team, the Syracuse Crunch on an ATO, and will make his professional debut in April. Max Marko June 2015 – TB takes Spencer 44th overall and he’s just what the doctor ordered. For the Lightning, not for fantasy owners. Little offensive upside here. Dobber June 2015 – Spencer was the Petes top d-man this past year playing in all situations for a low scoring team. He was drafted third overall into the OHL in 2013 and has been an important member of the Petes since posting eight goals and 42 assists over 147 OHL games between playoffs and the regular season in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Spencer was charged with shutting down other teams top players at the OHL level and also did so at the Ivan Hilinka tournament in the summer of 2014. Spencer was part of the Subway Super Series but was unable to register a point, at the U18 he posted two assists in seven games on the way to a bronze medal. Overall Spencer’s a strong defensive presence that plays extremely well in situations where he is under pressure. He possesses great IQ which to go along with his defensive positioning and reach makes him a great defensive player. On the offensive side of the puck Spencer has a great first pass that makes him dangerous in the transition game where he will also use his mobility to jump in the rush and act as a strong powerplay quarterback as well. Benjamin Gallant