Injuries are part of the game of hockey. They can come and go at some of the worst and most inconvenient times of a young hockey player's career.
Winnipeg Jets’ prospect Adam Lowry showed up to the 2011 Prospects tournament in Penticton last September in great shape after a strong second season with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League. He was given some feedback from the Jets’ management to work on a few things like his foot speed and core strength. Unfortunately the injury bug hit him before he could get started. Just four games into the season, he broke his wrist. It wasn’t until December that he finally had the surgery forcing him to miss 36 games.
“It’s a tough bone to find on the X-Ray so we didn’t find it until Christmas, so I was playing awhile with it and had to change my game,” said Lowry during development camp earlier in July. “Having to go through surgery was something I haven’t experienced before. It was definitely a long time but I’m excited that it’s healed back to normal and I’m excited to be on the ice again.”
Missing half of the season when you’re 18-years old (now 19-years old), can really set back a player's developmental progress both physically and mentally. Although Lowry was held to just 36 games this season, he found other things to work on while he was injured to prepare himself for development camp.
“Sitting out is always tough,” sighed Lowry. “Especially that our team had some struggles in the second half and I was itching to get out there and help the guys but I wasn’t able to. There were days when I thought my wrist was never going to get better. I thought it was going to be stuck in that position forever, but the athletic therapist did a great job of working with it and it’s coming along nicely.”
With his wrist out of commission, he quickly turned his attention to other areas that needed improvement.
“I had a lot of time to train my lower body because of my wrist injury so I talked to Stubby a lot and it was one of our main focuses along with my trainer back home was to work on my lower base and my strength. Coming into camp I wanted to prove in the tests that it’s been something that I’ve been working on.”
The Calgary, Alberta native tallied 12 goals and 25 assists in 36 games and had 90 penalty minutes, six more than the entire prior season in 66 games. A good stat, if your father is former NHL’er, Dave Lowry, a hard-working, gritty winger who played 1084 NHL games with the Vancouver Canucks, St.Louis Blues, Florida Panthers, San Jose Sharks and finally the Calgary Flames.
“I beat my penalty minutes in half the number of games last year but at the same time, there is a right time and place. I can’t be taking some of the penalties that I took. Some weren’t the smartest decisions at the smartest times.”
Lowry had nothing but positive things to say during the recent development camp in Winnipeg. Even though it was the first official development camp, it was the second time around for Lowry amongst others, to get to know the organization a little bit more before training camp in fall.
“It’s nice learning what you need to do to become a professional,” he said. “It’s the small things that help give you an edge. I’m trying to show that, even though I missed half the season last year- that I’m not a step behind and I’m feeling good.
“Last year there were a lot of nerves. There was a lot of excitement coming here for the first time at my first official training camp. Coming to development now, I know some of the guys, I know the town a little better and I know the staff. It puts you a little bit at ease, which makes it a little easier to focus on the ice.”