The Tampa Bay Lightning selected Adam Wilcox in the sixth round, 178th overall, at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The South St. Paul, Minnesota, native is currently playing his first full season for the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League (AHL).
“His athleticism is pretty high,” Syracuse Crunch head coach Rob Zettler said about the 6-foot goaltender. “He battles for the puck and makes stuff happen.”
Wilcox played three seasons at the University of Minnesota prior to joining the Crunch where he recorded over 20 wins each season. During his sophomore year, Wilcox had 26 wins and six losses with a 1.97 goals-against average (GAA) to earn second team All-American honors. Wilcox also won the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top NCAA player in the country.
Last season, Wilcox had 22 wins and 12 losses in 38 games to go along with a 2.42 GAA as the Golden Gophers made it to the National Championship game. After his collegiate career, Wilcox made two appearances with the Crunch before the season concluded.
When asked about his development, Zettler said Wilcox is on-track in his first full pro season.
“He has a ton of energy and wants to learn,” said Zettler, who also mentioned Wilcox needs to improve on keeping the puck in front of him but has been more patient between the pipes.
This season, Wilcox has appeared in four games and earned his first professional victory against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on November 7. When asked about the milestone, Zettler said it was long overdue: “He faced a lot of Grade A chances and made a lot of key saves.”
Six games is a small sample size for any player trying to make the pros, but it looks like Wilcox is making the proper strides in his quest to play in the NHL.