Sparks is a big athletic goalie who was a 7th round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2011. Sparks had a great 2012 world junior evaluation camp for Team USA, he’s considered to be one of the front runners for the 2013 USA World Junior Team. Sparks now in his second season as the starting goalie for the Guelph Storm, gives Guelph a strong chance to return to the memorial cup finals. Guelph is currently in third place in the West, while Sparks is posting a 3.35 GAA, 0.909 Save% and a solid 11 wins in 16 starts.
Sparks is a big body and having been in the leafs’ system for the past two seasons does not play a full block style, despite Allaire having influence on Sparks development. Sparks does show some athleticism and has a tendency to more reactive on saves. Now under the guidance of new goalie coach Matt smith, Sparks will need to focus on more balance and crease efficiency.
Sparks has good lateral crease movement but has a tendency to be too aggressive and finds himself fighting the puck at times. Sparks does show some Allaire-isms such as moving his body into shots and tight hand placement in the butterfly. Sparks biggest areas for improvement would be foot work and use of stick.
Feet – Good pushes, solid edges
Butterfly – wide,flexability an asset, big frame blocks net
Hands – strong positioning in front of body, glove with fingers down
Stick – Good puck movement, weak on direction/flow control
Body – shoulders forward, good balance, shifts body into shot well