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The Harvard freshman has been key in the Crimson's run

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson /

Craig Conroy isn't surprised anymore.

Every time he watches Harvard defenceman Adam Fox, he comes away even more impressed but after witnessing the 19-year-old continuously elevate his game throughout the year, it's par for the course to see the freshman excel in the toughest of situations.

Such was the case in March, when Fox played a key role in the Crimson's run to the Frozen Four.

"He expects to be there and he expects to win. He's been on all of these big stages as a young guy and he's always had success," Conroy told

Fox and Harvard kicked off the month by making quick work of their divisional rivals in the ECAC Tournament, capturing the championship with wins over Yale, Quinnipiac and Cornell. They outscored their opponents 18-9 and Fox chipped with four points over those four games, including a two-point outing in the championship victory over Cornell.

"Every night there's a big game, I look at the scoresheet and there he is. He's been a huge part of it," Conroy stated. "He hasn't missed a beat all season. It was great to see contribute so much in Harvard's run."

Ahead of the Crimson's ECAC Championship victory, Fox was tabbed as the division's Rookie Of The Year, becoming just the sixth Harvard player to capture the award and the first since 1997 when J.R. Prestifilippo won.

"The impact that he has had as a freshman here has been unbelievable," Harvard coach Ted Donato told last month. "Offensively, he is so dynamic, and his hockey IQ and puck skills are really amongst the best that there is in college hockey. He makes big plays in big games and makes the players around him that much better. We actually tell the guys not to watch him because he plays with such feel that he makes it look easy out there. He's playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers."

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Following their ECAC Championship run, Harvard headed into the NCAA Tournament as the top seed in East Region. They punched their ticket to the Frozen Four with victories over Providence and Air Force.

Fox was key in both wins, scoring a goal and two points against Providence in the East Regional and assisting on the game-winning goal against Air Force in the East Regional Final.

Like Donato noted, Conroy was struck with how nonplussed Fox looks in high-profile games like those in the NCAA Tournament.

"In his mind he's probably just thinking 'This is what I do. I'll go in play my game, win then go to finals and win that one,' which is a great attitude to have."

"And he's doing this as a freshman - a true freshman."

Heading into this weekend's Frozen Four semifinal against Minnesota Duluth, Fox has six goals and 39 points in 34 games. In addition to his ECAC Rookie Of The Year honours, he has been tabbed as the Ivy League Rookie Of The Year and has captured the Bob Monahan Award as New England's top defenceman. He also won gold with the USA at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Suffice to say, it not only has been an impressive March for Fox but an incredible 2016-17 season.

"It's amazing, it's probably one of the best performances for a defenceman in a freshman year … it's amazing what he has done," Conroy said.

"He's so smart and one step ahead of everybody but he's also got great skill with the puck. He's got that instinct on what to do with the puck. It all starts with his brain. Not everyone that goes to Harvard can translate that on ice but he's one step ahead of everybody right now." 

Fox was the Flames' third round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft. He played his 2015-16 season with the U.S. National Development Program, setting a new program record for points by a defenceman in single season with 59.

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