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Taking Flight - You Don't Know Jack

A season canceled, contracting COVID-19 and a new team has made my resolve stronger

by Jack Adams @J_Danglefest2 / Special to

Right wing Jack Adams was drafted by the Red Wings in the sixth round, 162nd overall, in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-5, 204-pound Boston native is one of four Red Wings prospects writing for our Taking Flight blog series, which chronicles the players' ups and downs as they work their way to becoming Red Wings. Because of a significant knee injury in 2019, the 2018-19 season was the last full season Adams played competitive hockey as a sophomore for Union College, which is a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Here is his 13th blog entry of 'You Don't Know Jack.'


  • You Don't Know Jack - Entry 13

    by Jack Adams

Hi guys,

It's been a while since I last wrote a blog for our "Taking Flight" series, and I have had a whirlwind of life-changing events take place in the months prior.

Getting right into it, my senior season at Union got canceled. My coaches, teammates and I were heartbroken. We worked so hard in the offseason but understood and respected the College's decision, as everyone put countless hours into the decision-making process.

"Leaving" Union was incredibly difficult. I invested so much time and energy into my political science degree, my game, and most importantly, the relationships. My teammates at Union were incredible. From the older guys like Hynsey and Cole Maier to my classmates, Kosy, Harry, Hanny, etc. We're a family. The entire staff involved with the hockey program - JR, Tapper, Coach DG, Cheryl, Doc Wally, Dave Baglio - they care just as much about our schooling and our lives as they do about our hockey. They developed me so much.

It starts at the top with Coach (Rick) Bennett, President (David) Harris and our Athletic Director, Jim McLaughlin. They are three of the best leaders, people, and mentors I have ever come across. And when times were difficult after my brother Roo passed, these three went out of their way to help me get through the year, especially Coach Bennett. He acted like a father at school for me and handled the situation perfectly. I hope he understands how much he and his family mean to me and my own family.

As soon as our season got canceled, I made the decision to enter the transfer portal. The recruitment process was crazy but having the opportunity to play for Providence where Roo played - and won the 2015 National Championship - and wear his number, along with being coached by Nate Leaman - who coached Team USA to the gold medal at this year's World Junior Championship - was impossible to pass on. My development could not be in better hands.

I didn't get off to a great start, contracting COVID-19 my first day at school. It hit me pretty hard and it was tough to get back into game shape. I was off the ice for three weeks, had two practices and then played my first game in 22 months against Boston University. I was so nervous. I barely knew the guys, barely knew the systems, and had two years off from playing a hockey game. Wearing Roo's number for the first time was emotional and I am so grateful for the opportunity.

As an athlete, I thrive on routine and structure, and I'm finding that again. I'm improving a ton. My comeback isn't even close to complete. I won't get into exactly where I am, but I didn't really understand the severity of the surgery I had until I got to Providence. The past six weeks I've made huge strides and I'm so excited to keep improving. I've always loved that as an athlete, knowing you're going to have a huge offseason to work on your game and make improvements. The coaches have worked a ton with me and the guys here are amazing. Lining up next to elite players like Tyce Thompson, Patrick Moynihan and Michael Callahan with elite coaching is a dream for a player and I'm excited to see what our team can accomplish in the coming weeks.

It's all about winning here and that's exactly how it should be.

Stay safe, everyone, and Go Friars!


On June 29, 2019, the last day of Red Wings Development Camp, Adams tore his ACL and MCL on a seemingly harmless check during the Red and White Game. He did not play for Union College last season (2019-20). Instead, he dedicated himself to an intensive rehab regimen, which he chronicled in his blog entries. Adams is now cleared to play, but unfortunately Union officials decided to cancel the 2020-21 hockey season. Adams transferred to Providence College and has played in five games for the Friars. He has yet to register a point and is plus-2.

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