Adam Fox, the 21-year-old rookie from Long Island, is beginning to show his true potential for the New York Rangers. Scoring his first NHL career goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday evening, Fox is a key element in the Rangers rebuild. Here’s what makes this kid so exciting to watch.
Adam Fox Rises as Rangers Rookie
Standing at 5’11” and 181lbs, Fox is not the biggest guy on the ice. In fact, he’s one of the shortest guys on the squad, albeit Artemi Panarin is good company to be in. However, this smaller statured defenceman is making the most of his rookie season, despite the rocky start to the Rangers season. On a pair with Ryan Lindgren on Tuesday, the Harvard graduate employed the hockey sense he’s known for. Picking up an odd-man rush rebound from Chris Kreider, Fox watched the chance unfold his eyes and he didn’t miss it. He tapped in his first NHL goal.
A New Hometown Hero
The NY local’s celebration was well-deserved. He’s continued to earn a good reputation on the team his father once held season tickets for. His father, still a fan, now has a much more special reason to cheer for the Blueshirts.
Fox’s ability to stay calm on the ice is an invaluable asset during this turbulent start to the season. He’s able to be poised with the puck and create plays, giving the Rangers a necessary scoring chance. He sees himself as an offensive defencemen, according to the New York Post, and he’s not wrong. His presence on the second power play unit shows that he has an ability to score, and give him more creativity with the puck. Although his ice time is averaging around 14 minutes, it’s increasing and rightfully so.
The Old College Way
Fox’s recent collegiate career is also an asset to his rookie status on the Rangers. He played against Head Coach David Quinn‘s Boston University team in his freshman year. Quinn, not so far removed from his college years himself, has a distinct coaching style that Fox clearly understands. Their similarities in communication style will help the entire team start to play more like a unit.
It’s also easy to forget that multiple personalities, especially new personalities, can run into chemistry issues in the beginning. This early in the season, that could be a contributing factor to the Rangers struggles. However, there are small signs already that momentum is shifting towards the younger defenseman. Tuesday’s game against the Lightning marked the first time Marc Staal has been a healthy scratch in his career. That’s a massive step forward for the Rangers coaching staff.
A Young Player’s Brief and Promising History
Drafted 66th overall by the Calgary Flames in the 2016 NHL Draft, Fox laid in wait for his NHL debut, cloaked by the ivy-covered walls of the Ivy League. During the off-season, Fox’s signing was already generating buzz and understandably so.
Looking at Fox’s Harvard University statistics, he averaged at least a point a game for his entire collegiate career. He topped out at 48 points in 33 games during his last season, 2018-19. He was also a plus 23 to conclude his time with the Crimson. Other accolades under Fox’s belt are earning 59 points for the U.S. National U18 Team in 2015-16, including 50 assists and nine goals, and playing for the U.S. World Championship team with now-teammate Brady Skjei in the summer of 2019.
It’s tough to say what’s next for Fox and the Rangers with so much of the season left. However, with chemistry already brewing between him and his fellow Blueshirts, Fox will likely have a bright future on Broadway in 2019, and well beyond.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 18: Adam Fox #23 of the New York Rangers skates against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden on September 18, 2019 in New York City. The Devils defeated the Rangers 4-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)