Adam Sykora getting taste of being a pro with Wolf Pack
Adam Sykora was one of several New York Rangers prospects added to the Hartford Wolf Pack roster for the stretch run and playoffs this season.
The 18 year-old forward along with Bryce McConnell-Barker (ATO), Brett Berard, Maxim Barbashev (ATO), and Adam Edstrom joined the team in late March.
Since that time, McConnell-Barker and Barbashev have been released from their Amateur Tryouts. Meanwhile, Sykora and Edstrom have not played since the second round versus the Providence Bruins.
Additionally, Berard has not played in the postseason.
Adam Sykora getting valuable pro experience
Sykora was taken with the Rangers’ first pick of the 2022 draft in the second-round. The 18 year-old had 8 goals and 21 points in 38 regular-season games this season for Nitra in Slovakia. His team was eliminated in the quarterfinals and he ended the playoffs with 4 points in 8 playoff matches.
The Rangers brought him over to the AHL where he played in two regular-season games for Hartford registering no points. After the Rangers called up Jonny Brodzinski and Jake Leschyshyn, that put Sykora into the Pack’s playoff lineup.
Once the Blueshirts were eliminated, those players were returned to the Pack and relegated Sykora to the stands. In four postseason games, he notched one assist.
In a recent interview with AHL writer Patrick Williams for Forever Blueshirts, he believes this experience will benefit Sykora greatly.
“For an 18 year-old, he’s exactly what I expected him to be,” Williams said. “You play the whole season overseas, now you have to learn a new system and teammates. It’s his first real look at North American style hockey. Anything you get out of him right now is a bonus, but so far so good.”
Sykora signed his entry-level contract prior to the start of the 2022-23 season before being cut from training camp and heading back to Nitra.
The feisty winger is known for his relentless forecheck and ability to get under his opponent’s skin. He showed that in his one preseason game against the Isles in September. Although not very big at 5-10 and 172 lbs, Sykora didn’t look out of place in the game against much larger NHL players. He was strong on the puck and showed no fear of getting involved in the play.
“He doesn’t stop working and he’s highly competitive,” Director of Scouting John Lilley said. “I don’t want to take away from his skill set and his ability to skate. But he’s definitely a high character, hard-working player.”
The Wolf Pack are facing elimination against the Hershey Bears in Game 3 on Wednesday. If so, Sykora could likely head to the World Championship to play with Slovakia.
Regardless, it looks like the Rangers will try and get him to play a full season with the Wolf Pack next year. It’s a move that Williams feels would be the most beneficial for his career.
“The Rangers should get him to the AHL next season and let him learn the game over here,” Williams noted. “Get their people working with him everyday. It would be good for him so he isn’t off their radar.”