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By the Numbers Prospects: Jack Adams

Despite a personal tragedy, towering forward put together a solid sophomore season for Union College

by Arthur J. Regner @ArthurJRegner /

By the Numbers will highlight the on-ice accomplishments in the 2018-19 season for the Detroit Red Wings' prospects. Twice a week during the offseason, By the Numbers will profile a different player in the system, focusing on his statistical highs. This week we focus on right wing John 'Jack' Adams.

September 18, 2018 is a day Jack Adams will always remember for all the wrong reasons.

When Union College hockey coach Rick Bennett told Adams his brother, mentor and best friend, Roo, had suddenly passed away, he was in utter disbelief.

Roo was indestructible, it couldn't be true, but it was. Mark 'Roo' Adams Jr. was gone. He was just 27 years old.

Coach Bennett drove Adams home to Boxford, Mass. It was a drive Adams cannot recall much about.

Once home, Adams became flooded with every emotion imaginable.

The only thing he was sure about was that he would get back on the ice as soon as he could because that is what Roo would have wanted and expected from his 6-foot-6, 210-pound 'little brother.'

It wasn't easy moving on with life for Adams after Roo died. He will grieve for the remainder of his days, but he and Roo are both hockey players.

His older brother won the 2015 NCAA men's national championship with Providence College as a defenseman for the Friars and was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres.

Injuries cut short Roo's hockey career, but he was always there for his brother with an encouraging word or a swift kick in the pants.

When Adams was drafted by the Red Wings in the sixth round, 162nd overall, in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, he became overwhelmed thinking about his family and making Roo proud.

Adams was also surprised he lasted until the sixth round, since as a member of the USHL's Fargo Force, he led the league in goals with 37 and was fifth in scoring with 60 points.

A gregarious man whose teammates gravitate towards, Adams knows he is a work in progress, but he has shown a strong desire to get better, a nose for the net and an intelligence for the game, which has impressed the Wings during development camp the last two years.

As he enters his junior year at Union, Adams realizes he has two more seasons to hone his game and work toward becoming the player the Red Wings expect him to be, a physical forward with soft hands who has significantly improved his skating.

With an intense work ethic and inspiration from above, Adams should not be counted out from earning a contract with the Red Wings.

38 - Games Adams played for Union College. It was 10 more games than he played as a freshman for the Dutchmen, a year in which he had a difficult adjustment period to Bennett's demand of playing a 200-foot game.

10 - His goal total, which tied him with forward Sebastian Vidmar for fourth-highest on the team. Senior Ryan Walker led Union in goals with 15. As a freshman, Adams notched four goals.

12 - Adams doled out 12 assists last season, which along with forward Anthony Rinaldi and defenseman Vas Kolias, was fourth-best for the Dutchmen. Senior forward Cole Maier was Union's assist leader with 23. Adams had nine assists his freshman year.

22 - Adams' point total of 22 placed him in a fifth-place tie with forward Brett Supinski for most points on the team. Maier led Union in points with 31. His 22 points were nine more than the 13 he accumulated as a freshman.

2 - Last season, Adams scored his first two game-winning goals as a collegian. His first game-winner was on Oct. 20, 2018, at Northeastern in a 3-1 victory and his second was on Nov. 2, 2018, at home against St. Lawrence in a 4-1 Dutchmen win. Maier paced Union in game-winning goals with four.

29 - His 29 penalty minutes were fourth-highest on the Dutchmen. Senior defenseman Greg Campbell was Union's leader in penalty minutes with 40. Adams was only assessed 10 total penalty minutes as a freshman.

+13 - Adams' plus-13 was second-best on the Dutchmen. Fellow sophomore forward Liam Morgan's plus-16 was tops for Union. During his freshman season, Adams was plus-1.

Quotable: "He had a good year last year. I think he's a big guy and with any big guy, a lot of it's going to depend on his skating. But he's a hard worker, he's focused, he's determined and he's already working hard on that for next year. I think there's been some talk of him maybe trying, getting a little try at center, so we'll see in college how that goes. He's growing, he's maturing and it's just going to take him some time. But we're looking forward to seeing what kind of year he's going to have." - Shawn Horcoff, Red Wings director of player development

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