After his hot start (2G, 2A) to the young 2011-2012 season, many people might find themselves asking: “Who is Luke Adam?”
Adam joined the Sabres organization back in 2008 where he was taken in the 2nd round, 44th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Adam’s route to the NHL started via the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. During his time there Adam produced at nearly a point a game pace accumulating 220 points (113G, 107A) in 236 games playing for the St. John’s Fog Devils, Montreal Juniors, and the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
Adam’s first professional experience came when he joined the Portland Pirates in the 2009-2010 AHL playoffs. During this three-game stint, Adam registered two assists.
The 2010-2011 season saw Adam split time with both the Sabres and the Pirates. For the Sabres last season, Adam played in 19 games across several stints, in which he scored three goals and added an assist. In his time with the Pirates, Adam impressed. Adam lead all rookies in scoring, putting up 62 points (29G, 33A). This lead Adam to being selected to the AHL Eastern Conference All-Star team. Adam also went on to win the Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Award, which is awarded to the rookie of the year in the AHL each season.
At first glance, it looked as though Adam was going to find himself starting the season with the Rochester Americans, Buffalo’s new AHL affiliate club. Adam, however, must not have gotten the message, because he has played his way onto the Sabres’ top line. An injury to veteran Jochen Hecht, and the waiving of Ales Kotalik might have helped in Adam earning his current spot, but his play has spoken volumes about himself.
From the start of the Sabres’ rookie camp, all Adam has done is impress. This all started with Adam joining other Sabres’ prospect to take on other prospect teams in the Traverse City Tournament, a prospect tournament held every season in Traverse City, Michigan that is hosted by the Detroit Red Wings. Adam, along with line-mates Zack Kassian and Marcus Foligno, lead the Sabres’ prospects to the title. Adam and his line-mates often looked a notch above most of the competition that they faced, which was expected from the top 3 forward prospects within the organization. Adam was named the MVP of the entire tournament.
Adam continued his success into the preseason, where he found himself playing with some more experienced talent. During his four games played with the team, Adam put up 1 goal and 3 assists with his goal coming via the power play. This lead to Adam getting the nod to stay with the team and travel along with them to Europe. Some thought this was an insurance move since teams traveling to Europe were allowed to travel with and extra player and goaltender on the roster. Since Jochen Hecht was injured and deemed unavailable for the games, Lindy turned to the rookie to take his spot over veteran Matt Ellis, who has filled in nicely when the Sabres have called on him in the past.
Adam took this role and went with it. Many were surprised when Adam was seen centering a line consisting of leading scorer Thomas Vanek and veteran winger Jason Pominville. To say that Adam has succeeded so far would be an understatement.
So far during this young season, Adam has amassed two goals and two assists in two games. The Vanek-Adam-Pominville line has tallied 13 points thus far. It is safe to say that if this line stays in tact and continues to click, you will being seeing Luke Adam for years to come sporting his Buffalo Sabres jersey.
Adam could just be the number one offensive center the team has been looking for since the departure of Daniel Briere. Only time will tell if Adam can continue this pace of production. If he does, a shot at the Calder trophy is not out of the question, along with the possibility of Adam putting up numbers in the range of 25 goals 60 points.
Of course, it’s only been two games. Sabres fans can’t get ahead of themselves just yet.