Adam Fox a playmaking genius for New York Rangers
Adam Fox reached an NHL milestone Thursday when the defenseman recorded his 200th career assist on the New York Rangers’ second goal in a 5-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres. He did so in just his 286th NHL game, one faster than Hall of Fame defenseman Paul Coffey. This makes him the second fastest Rangers defenseman to reach the milestone.
The only Blueshirt to do it faster? Another Hall of Famer, Brian Leetch, in 264 games. This pace was good enough to make Fox the sixth-fastest defenseman in NHL history to reach 200 assists. The top six are as follows:
- 1st- Quinn Hughes, 263 GP
- 2nd- Brian Leetch, 264 GP
- 3rd- Bobby Orr, 271 GP
- 4th- Gary Suter, 276 GP
- 5th- Sergei Zubov, 279 GP
- 6th- Adam Fox, 286 GP
“I’ve been able to cover some Rangers games over the last while and [Adam Fox] is just different,” NHL Network Analyst Mike Rupp told Forever Blueshirts in September. “He controls the pace of the game with his vision and calmness. I played with (HHOF) Scott Niedermayer, who had composure with the puck. Adam Fox has more composure than Scott Niedermayer.”
Adam Fox an offensive machine from blue line
Throughout his young career, the Jericho, New York, native has 36 goals and a plus/minus rating of +89 to go along with his 200 assists. He also won the Norris Trophy, given annually to the best NHL defenseman, in 2021. He seems to be in the running every year for the award as his consistent and impressive play has him known as one of the League’s best.
The newly named alternate captain is looking to once again help lead the Blueshirts to the playoffs and contend for the Stanley Cup.
“It’s a pretty big honor. It’s nice to have that trust and responsibility,” Fox explained. “It’s not going to change my approach or how I handle myself or handle things.”
The 25-year-old has been a mainstay on the Rangers defense since his first season in 2019-20. Aside from his first year in the League, Fox has averaged over 20 minutes of ice time per game. The most coming last season when he averaged 24:22 per game, 12th highest in the league. Among those 12 skaters, all defensemen, only Fox and Erik Karlsson suited up for all 82 games.
As the Rangers best overall defenseman, Fox is used on both the power play and penalty kill. He is one of the most dynamic players the Rangers have ever had on the back end. He is consistently solid in his own zone, can move the puck up ice with laser tape-to-tape passes, and will always produce offensively. It is no surprise that his numbers already have him in the same conversation with Leetch.
Over the past five seasons, Fox ranks fourth in points among NHL defensemen. He sits only 17 back of the No. 1 spot, held by Roman Josi. In that same time frame, he ranks 2nd in assists and 5th in plus/minus. The value he brings to the Rangers continues to skyrocket.
Speaking of value, Fox cashed in withhis current contract, a seven-year deal with an average annual value of $9.5 million. This is tied for the 5th highest AAV among defenseman with Charlie McAvoy and Seth Jones. The highest is held by Erik Karlsson at $11.5 million AAV.
Watching the Rangers face off against Buffalo on opening night was a friendly reminder that the Sabres just signed defenseman Rasmus Dahlin to an 8-year deal with an AAV of $11 million. To put this in perspective, Dahlin has amassed 189 points over the past five seasons compared to Fox’s 236, yet he makes an extra $1.5 million annually. This new contract has turned Fox’s $9.5 million into a bargain for the Blueshirts.
And that 200 assist milestone will likely just be a footnote among other highlights sure to come in Adam Fox’s career.