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Taking Flight - You Don't Know Jack

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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. Adams is a sophomore at Union College, which is a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Here is his first blog entry, 'You Don't Know Jack.'


  • You Don't Know Jack - Entry 1

    by Jack Adams

When the Red Wings asked me to start this writing this blog, I was a bit overwhelmed, yet excited to share a bit of my story. I hope I can offer a different perspective and an inside look at my career, and most importantly, our team's success. But above all, I want to remind everyone how much my brother means to me, and how his legacy will carry on. Making him proud is my most important goal in my life, and with the love and support of my family and teammates, I think I can make it happen. Lastly, I hope that this situation can elevate me as a person and teach me what matters in life. Life is confusing, but no one said it was supposed to be easy, right?

Every time hockey season has come around, it's been the highlight of my year. All the hard work and sacrifice you put into your craft, you cannot wait for the season to start.

I can't say that has been the case for me personally. My game was really coming along the first few weeks of September, I was developing great chemistry with my line mates (Sam Morton and Parker Foo) and we were really starting to click. I remember the practice on the 17th of September at this youth rink in Schenectady. Watching how well Parker and Sammy moved the puck, I was so excited.

Then it all happened.

I got a call at 6 in the morning from my head coach, Rick Bennett, saying he had to take me home, and I later found out that my role model, best friend and older brother Roo had suddenly passed away at the age of 27. I'm still heartbroken, and it's literally the only thing that I think about. Every minute of every day, every single night, (some nights until 3 or 4 in the morning), I am thinking of you. It's devastating. And selfishly, it has not gotten remotely easier. I miss you, Roo.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: #RedWings prospect Jack Adams pays tribute to his brother 'Roo':

But there is only one thing that allows me to get through every day while I am away from my family, and it is my teammates and coaches here at Union College. The Union College community has been unbelievable to my family and me, and their unconditional love and support speak beyond words. Every day my teammates and coaches ask me how I am doing, and they have no clue how much that touches my heart. Every day, I try my best to go to the rink and put a smile on my face and try to be the best version of Jack, because throughout this painful process, they have been there for me, so I need to do the exact same for them. All the guys have a special place in my heart; whether it be my best friend Sean Harrison and me watching movies; or Josh Kosack and me making Sunday trips to New York City; or little things like Fletcher Fineman taking me out to dinner so we can just talk. I am so blessed to have the love and support from my 28 brothers whom I love so much.

On a brighter note, our team has gotten off to a great start, winning many highly competitive non-conference games on the road, and recently just captured the Friendship Four Championship in Belfast, Northern Ireland last week. It was literally one of the most memorable experiences I've ever had in my entire life. Thousands of fans flooded into the arena and cheered, yelled and danced throughout both games. Friday night our team faced another ECAC rival in Yale, and the game ended in us winning in a shootout. Once my guy Darion Hanson made the final save, Kosack and I leaped onto the ice and had a moment with Darion that we will never forget. It was that special.

But we knew we had to turn the page quickly, because the next night we were about to face a team with a lot of firepower: Boston University. We had a great game plan and from the very first face-off, our team was ready to go. We ended up winning 2-1, and one of my close friends, Hanson, put together one of the most impressive goalie displays I have ever seen. I was so happy for him because he's a such special kid with a huge heart.

Personally, I think my game is starting to come along but I have a long way to go. The coaches here have worked with me endlessly to develop all areas of my game and I think I am almost where I want to be. But more importantly, our team here at Union is special. I was talking with our equipment manager, "Bags," in Ireland one night, and we were talking, saying "we might have something special here," and that is a testament to our leaders and the foundation that they have implemented here the past four years, along with Coach Bennett and his staff. We have a great group of guys and I am excited to see where our destiny leads us.

I can't thank the Union College community enough. President David Harris, Athletic Director Jim McGlaughlin, Tim Meigher of the Garnet Blades, all the professors and faculty, and Dutchmen alumni such as Daniel Carr, Jeremy Welsh, Ryan Scarfo and Tyler Hynes; I cannot begin to express how much you have done for my family and me. The Ireland trip that you put together for my teammates and me is something we will share for the rest our lives. Whether it was visiting historical jail sites, or the Belfast Titanic Museum, or spending time with little kids, my teammates and I are so blessed.

Life is hard but knowing Roo's beautiful spirit is constantly lingering upon my family, teammates and myself, it allows me to smile.

I know he was smiling, watching us ring that bell in Belfast.

I love you, Roo.



In 13 games this season with the Dutchmen, Adams has nine points, including five goals, which is tied for the team lead. He has scored two game winning goals and leads Union in penalty minutes with 25.

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