Rangers Adam Fox could be x-factor against Hurricanes

When the first game of the qualifying round begins on August 1, the Rangers will open against the Carolina Hurricanes. We know that the Rangers championship aspirations will ride on the sticks and blades of veteran players. Yes, Panarin, Zibanejad, DeAngelo, and Kreider will need to be lights out good but one rookie could be an x-factor.

Adam Fox road to the Rangers

Adam Fox was born on February 17th, 1998 and was raised in Jericho, New York. The 5’11 defenseman who grew up a passionate Rangers fan, was selected by the Calgary Flames with the 66th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo. Instead of signing an ELC, Fox went to Harvard to play hockey and was eventually moved to Carolina as part of a blockbuster deal involving Dougie Hamilton.

It wasn’t too long before Carolina had trouble signing Fox to an ELC as well and rather than losing him to free agency ala Kevin Hayes he was traded to the Rangers. Fox was traded to New York on April 30th, 2019 for 2 draft picks (2019 2nd, 2020 3rd) and signed his first professional contract soon thereafter. This could go down as one of Jeff Gorton’s biggest heists along with the Zibanejad robbery.

Fox (Getty Images)

Public Enemy #1

The young rearguard has already “endeared” himself to the Carolina fans. In four contests this season he has 2 goals and 3 points. Those numbers are excellent but his overall play against them has been rock solid. Fox averaged over 19 minutes per game, registered 6 shots and even scored a game winning goal back in November, a 3-2 win at the Garden. He hears his fair share of boos when he touches the puck in Raleigh, but if he continues his stellar play and helps eliminate the Canes in the play-in round, he will become Public Enemy #1.

Adam Fox could be huge against the Hurricanes

What can you say about Adam Fox that would be anything but complimentary. This rookie out of Harvard has been amazing and worthy of Calder consideration for rookie of the year. His 42 points in 70 games ranks him 7th on the team in scoring and 2nd for defenseman behind Tony DeAngelo’s 53. Very impressive no matter how you want to look at it.

It is difficult to say that he needed a break based on his play. Prior to the pause he had a goal and 6 assists in his last 4 games. However, in his last 2 seasons he played a combined total of 77 games for Harvard and Team USA. Of course, any player not used to the serious physical and mental toll of an NHL season can suffer, especially late when it matters most. Rookie or not, Adam Fox was going to need to be a key contributor in a playoff run. This break may now ensure that.

Rod Brind’Amour will have to game-plan to stop Zibanejad, Panarin, and DeAngelo. That’s why a player like Fox could be a huge factor for the Rangers. If he can generate offense from the back-end, it will help keep the Rangers clicking on all cylinders.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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