Austin Adam is a Silvertips defensive prospect who stands 6’4 and weighs 193 pounds. The 1995-born fleet of foot blueliner was selected in the fourth round of the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft and is a Cloverdale, BC native, a town just north of the border, roughly two hours from Everett. Currently leading the B.C. Major Midget League in playoff scoring with six points (0-6-6), Adam’s Valley West Hawks recently completed a two-game sweep of the Vancouver NE Chiefs to set up a semi-final matchup with the Prince George-based Caribou Cougars, the team that Silvertips forward Jari Erricson played for last season.
Jon Rosen: Let’s see, a 24-8-8 regular season and a first round series sweep – it sounds like the Valley West Hawks are playing some really strong hockey.
Austin Adam: Yeah, we’ve had a great season.
JR: What style of hockey have the Hawks played this season?
AA: We play a very defensive style of game – we’ve had a great defensive corps with great goaltending. The Hawks play a strong all-around defensive game.
JR: And it sounds like you were a centerpiece of that defensive effort.
AA: I had a very solid season this year, and played pretty well in all situations.
JR: How would you describe yourself as a hockey player?
AA: I’m a stay at home defenseman who can rush the puck up ice when needed. I’m a smart player who can move the puck and skate well and see the ice pretty well.
JR: Your Hawks just put together a playoff sweep of the Vancouver NE Chiefs to set up a semi-final matchup against the Cariboo Cougars, a team that you split the season series with. Of course, the team that all BC Major Midget League teams are compared against would be the Vancouver NW Giants. How have you fared against the Giants this season?
AA: We haven’t done very well against them this year. We were 0-4 against them, but all of the games were close. We definitely made them work very hard.
JR: What could you tell us about your season series with Cariboo?
AA: There were some long bus rides. Long, 10 hour rides up north. There was a lot of sleeping on the bus.
JR: Silvertips forward prospect Trent Lofthouse is one of your teammates with the Hawks. How would you describe the type of player that he is?
AA: Trent’s a strong two-way forward who likes to play the body. He’s got good hands, good hockey sense, he’s smart, and has a great shot.
JR: It seems you hit a pretty big growth spurt over the last few years. 6’4? Almost 195 pounds?
AA: Yeah, I’m one of the tallest guys in the league, and it gives me a bit of a leg up on the competition
JR: Looking beyond the numbers, how have the Valley West Hawks developed?
AA: We have been a solid team all year. It’s a great group of guys who have all played together in the past. It all came together really well, and meshed really well. We’ve grown really well as a team. We had a couple of downfalls earlier in the year, but we were always able to pick ourselves up and right the ship.
JR: What can you tell us about your first training camp with the Silvertips back in August?
AA: The first training camp was definitely an eye-opener. It was great hockey. I had so much fun up there and didn’t want to leave.
JR: You were also able to take part in several practices with the Silvertips last month. That must have been a great mid-season introduction to the WHL style of play.
AA: It was definitely an eye-opening experience. It was very hard-working hockey and played at a very high tempo. When I came back to the Hawks, I just wanted to work harder to get back to that level of play.
JR: And, of course, it should go without saying that you’re a huge Canucks fan?
AA: Yeah, I get caught up quite a bit. They’re a good team. I sure hope they can continue with how they’ve been playing.
JR: Are there any players in the NHL that you admire?
AA: I like Tyler Myers of the Buffalo Sabres. He’s a big, tall guy like me, so I try to base my game off of him.
JR: Tyler Myers’ skating really set him apart from other players when he was in the WHL. And from what we’ve seen, skating also seems to be one of your strong suits.
AA: Being a bigger guy, I have a really long stride, so I get a lot of power out of that. The tough part is making quick strides with my feet because I have long legs, but I manage to go pretty fast when I get going.
JR: Have you set any goals for the summer, looking forward to next year?
AA: I’m just going to keep working hard for the rest of the season here and end on a good note. After that, I’ll go into the summer and off-season training gaining weight and trying to get stronger for training camp next year.
JR: We look forward to that. Thanks again for spending some time with us today, Adam!
AA: Thanks for having me!