Baker's Dozen Interview: Luke Adam

Luke Adam, a second round pick of the Sabres in 2008, recently took a break from resting to answer a baker's dozen worth of questions for SabresProspects. At 6'2, 203 pounds, Adam represents the best combination of size and scoring ability in the Sabres' future cupboards. After leading the St. John's Fog Devils in points a season ago, the Newfoundland native was posting a good run through the QMJHL in 2008-09 before a ruptured spleen derailed his season in mid-February. In 47 games for the Montreal Juniors, Adam scored 22 goals and 27 assists. SabresProspects: The Sabres used you mostly on LW at their summer conditioning camp. You have shifted back and forth between there and center this season. Where do you think you're most effective? Do you have a preference? Luke Adam: I feel comfortable playing both positions now. I never played wing until I went to major junior so over my first two seasons I learned to play that position. I prefer playing center. I feel I can contribute down low in both the offensive and the defensive zones, and I think center allows me to do that me. I am glad I have been able to learn both positions to help me get to the next level. SP: With the Fog Devils relocating to Verdun, you moved from your home of Newfoundland to Montreal. A new city with new billets and a new language. Did any of the transition effect your game on the ice? LA: I don’t think the transition had any effect on my game. It was different living away from home but I was lucky to have good billets and be close with my teammates which made it much easier to adapt to a new city. SP: You had your first fight of the season in late January. It's not a big piece to your game, but it had to feel good to get one under your belt for your teammates. LA: Like you said that’s not a big piece of my game but it did feel good to get it under my belt. It’s not something I look to go out of my way to do. It’s part of the game and is done to protect yourself or your teammates. SP: You went down with an unfortunate injury after taking a hit. Can you describe what happened? LA: I was playing with mononucleosis for 4 weeks before the injury. I was unaware that I had it. I felt tired and had most symptoms now that I look back on it but I thought it was just flu from a tough schedule. The team trainer and doctors didn’t suggest I get checked when I told them how I was feeling so I was just trying to play through it. Your spleen is enlarged when you have mono and that is the danger of playing contact sports with it. It wasn’t a big hit, it was more of an open ice bump and it felt like I lost my wind. I then thought it was maybe broken ribs, I was also having trouble breathing. The doctors suggested I got to the hospital and an hour later I was on the operating table. I spent one week in hospital and now I am home in Newfoundland recovering. The doctor says I can’t do any activity for 2-3 months. After that I will be fine to continue living the lifestyle I am used to. SP: When do you think you can begin skating again? LA: I haven’t set a date. I will start slowly getting back into a workout routine hopefully in the weeks of April. SP: Your offensive pace was up before the injury (1.04 ppg this season, .94 in 2007-08). With a return to the Q likely as a 19-year old, will be your developmental goals for next season? What is the one skill you'll need to sharpen most before playing up a level? LA: I sit down before each season and write down some personal and team goals. From what I saw in training camp this past year I think to get to the next level you have to do everything much faster. Shooting, passing, skating, thinking - everything has to be done quicker SP: Future mates Tyler Myers and Tyler Ennis won World Junior gold with Team Canada (along with Montreal teammate Angelo Esposito). Did you have a chance to speak with them afterwards? LA: I've been able to speak to both of them since the tournament. I congratulated both of them on winning gold and representing the country well. Both are having good seasons which is always great to see. SP: Who was the most difficult player you faced this season? LA: There are lots of great players in the league which makes it very tough to just pick one. I always knew it was going to be a tough game when we played against the Quebec Remparts and Kevin Marshall. They have a great team and if I had to choose he is probably the toughest defenseman to face in the Quebec league. SP: I'm sure that you and T.J. Brennan have had some nice one-on-one battles in practice over the past couple of years. Who usually takes those? LA: I think if you ask him you’ll get a different answer, but I’d say I had the slight edge on the 1 on 1’s. He can’t quite handle my toe drag. (laughs) SP: You gained the attention of Sabres scouts as they kept tabs on previous picks Brennan and J.S. Allard. In 2010, current teammate Guillaume Asselin will be draft eligible. How would you describe him as a player? LA: Guillaume is a very skilled player. He is confident with his ability and was a good player for us this season. He is only 16 so he will develop and learn a lot over the next few years in junior. Most of all though Gui is a great kid and was well liked by the other players on the team SP: Have you spoken with the Sabres often during the year? LA: I have been in contact with the Sabres all year. Whether if it was someone from staff, the office or the scouts they were in contact with me throughout the year and since the injury. SP: I'm sure you embrace GM Darcy Regier comparing your game to fellow Newfie Ryane Clowe. Are there any other players that you can compare elements of your game to? LA: It was great to be compared to Ryane. He is having a fantastic season this year and finally putting up the numbers most people that knew him thought he could. To be compared to anyone in the NHL is a huge compliment and honour. I try to be a big strong forward who can make plays and score goals. I pride my game on winning battles down low for loose pucks and use my big body to protect it. Other players I like to watch and learn from are Rick Nash and Shane Doan. To round out the Baker's dozen, let's end off the beaten path... SP: If you could star as any character in a remake of any movie, who would you be? LA: That’s a tough question. I would love to be in the movie Mystery Alaska. ---------------------- SabresProspects would like to give a Luke a tap on the shin pads for answering our questions, and wish him well on the road to recovery.
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