First, Jack Adams’ body grew.
Then, his game did.
The Fargo Force right wing needed time, along with the guidance of many who he turns to for feedback, to develop a game that matched his stature.
“I grew six inches in a two-year span,” Adams said. “So, it’s kind of hard growing into my body and developing.
“I was always a perimeter and finesse player, making plays. Now, I really take pride in getting to the front of the net, getting to the dirty areas and creating space.”
Adams is creating points as well.
After producing just 24 points in his first season in the United States Hockey League and his first season as a 6-foot-5-plus forward, Adams has become of the league’s top scorers.
“Coach [Cary] Eades wanted me to go home and get quicker and stronger and more mature in my approach,” Adams said. “I had a good summer training with coach [Paul] Vincent back in Cape Cod all summer. I had some pretty good mentors, like Kurtis Gabriel from the Wild and Danny Carr from the Canadiens.”
Adams, who will celebrate his 20th birthday while cheering on his New England Patriots on Super Bowl Sunday, leads the USHL in power-play goals with 10. After scoring goals in four of his past five games, he spent part of the week as the league leader in goals and co-leader in points. He now shares the USHL lead with 23 goals, along with 17 assists, in 32 games.
Between coaches, teammates, family and the many hockey resources available to him in the offseason near his Boxford, Massachusetts home, Adams has had plenty of advice on how to best take advantage of his physical assets on the ice.
The input from Carr, who went to Union College where Adams is headed in the fall, and Gabriel continues. Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug is another pro hockey player who has provided Adams with some insight.
“He’s a huge influence on me; he’s a really close family friend,” Adams said. “Last year, he watched some of my games and told me that I’m 6-5, I’ve got to start playing with some jam. If I want to make it to the next level, I’ve get to the net front, be a force down there, play big and create havoc.
“I think I’ve done a better job of doing that with coach Eades guiding me, but I’ve still got a long way to go in that aspect.”
The 211-pounder is a new player and Fargo is an offensive force a year after having the USHL’s lowest-scoring team. The Force are now 22-14-3 and third in the standings in the Western Conference where they are the highest-scoring of the eight teams.
Adams and center Blake Lizotte, his best friend during two years in Fargo, committed to making the most out of their last season as junior teammates. They have played most of the season with left wing Hank Crone, combining to make the Force the only team with three of the league’s top eight scorers.
While Adams has done the work to make himself a stronger and more effective player, he gives the credit to others, making it clear he is grateful for being able to find support from so many directions.
His father, Mark, coached Jack until he entered the championship program at Malden Catholic. Older brother Mark, who goes by “Roo,” won a national championship at Providence College and was a Buffalo Sabres draft pick before having to give up the sport recently because of knee injuries.
Jack said his father “is like my best friend now” and his brother is “my biggest motivation and my biggest role model.” Both watch each game on FastHockey and they discuss what they see when it’s over.
“No one knows my game like my father,” Jack said. “After every game, I call those two and they tell me what they think.
“Lately, they’ve been more positive, but they’re not afraid to tell me if I need to work on something, too.”
The work Adams has already put in has helped lead to those more positive reports.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.
Tag(s): News & Features