The Goalie Guild

Prospects Library: Adam Wilcox

Goldman Says: “Wilcox is a flashy reflex-based goalie with visibly high levels of athleticism and competitiveness. He loves to be active moving the puck up the ice and has very quick hands and feet.”

GAME REPORTS

10-28 vs. Canisius

Hands were out in front of his body to make a save on a wrist shot that he deflected to the boards just 1:45 into the game … gloved down a shot low in front of his body just 2:14 in … defensive breakdown led to a good chance in the low slot at the 8:00 mark, but he fought off a deflected shot with the glove … pulled down a long-range slapper from the point heading over the net … controlled and set up the puck nicely for his d-men as the first period continued … solid paddle down save on the PK with 2:28 left in the first period … stopped all eight shots he faced in the first … routine glove save :35 into the second period … great reaction glove save at the 9:18 mark of the second period, showcase his reflexes and quickness … displayed good focus in a game where he was seeing very little action … absorbed another good quality scoring chance with an upper body save off the right shoulder with 6:23 left, and he made the save at the top of his crease … stopped all five shots in the second period but Canisius had just two shots from anywhere near the mid-slot … was untested for the first half of the third period … routine stick save at 11:25 of the third period on a harmless bouncing puck … tricky poke check attempt on partial breakaway with 4:59 left but squeezed the five-hole and covered up, another display of his high level of athleticism … was untested until a mad scramble in the final :30 where he had to make his toughest save of the game, a stretching left pad save … teammate fell on top of him after he fell forward and made the save, but had support in front and quickly scrambled back into position … finished with a 20-save shutout, the first shutout of his NCAA career. GRADE: A

10-20 @ Michigan Tech

Good first stop at 17:34 by standing his grond on the left post and flexing a sharp-angle shot away towards the boards … Sharp glove save down low on a rush … great left pad stop down low on a quick centering feed during a brief 4-on-4 … beautiful blocker save with 12:18 left in the first period … tremendous reflexes … When puck is low with a far-side threat, he doesn’t drop early. Instead he gets into a very low crouch and holds his edges. Love it … aggressive and athletic, quick recoveries, quick hands, relaxed and flexible … energized start definitely motivated teammates … only faced five shots through 13 minutes … stopped all seven shots in the first period, including two PP chances … not tested at all in the first five minutes of the second period, then beat on a great chance by Pietla on a rolling puck that was chipped up over the right shoulder at 6:18 of the second … went out to stick a puck away against the boards on a PP chance and turned it over, then was forced to make a save and freeze it, which caused a defensive-zone faceoff while on the PP … faced just two shots in the first nine minutes of the second period … victimized by a bad clear and turnover by Schultz as he stops the shot fired on goal, but rebound hits a teammate in front of the net and deflects in with just 56 seconds left in the second period … faced just five shots in the second period and stopped three of them, or nine-for-11 through two … had to be sharp early in the third period, making a nice blocker save and having another shot ring off the cross bar … not many shots getting through as teams clog up defensively … biggest stop came with 2:30 left moving to his left but reacting to his right with the blocker and robbing Pietla in the slot … finished with the win, stopping five shots in the third period and ending with 16 saves on 18 shots (boxscore) GRADE: B-

SCOUTING REPORT

Powered by visibly high levels of natural athleticism and flexibility, Adam Wilcox is an impressive prospect selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning organization in the 2011 NHL Draft.

My first experience scouting Wilcox came in August of 2012 during a private lesson with goalie coach Dave Rogalski. During that practice, I was impressed with Adam’s quickness and attention to detail with his execution of movement drills.

Listed at 6-foot-0, Wilcox is a smaller goalie that relies on tremendous reflexes and foot speed to make a majority of his saves. Everything surrounding his style is focused on reacting to the puck, whether it’s done with quick hands, an active stick, or by kicking out the legs and feet to make flashy kick saves.

Wilcox is the epitome of a dynamic goaltender; he has variable stances (wide and narrow), and when scrambling or sliding around his crease, he always appears tenacious and fierce. His biggest advantage as a smaller goalie is his ability to skate and pass the puck. This not only makes him very good at being a third defenseman and challenging shooters, but that active mindset and quick footwork helps him display a ton of confidence in the crease.

Wilcox is what I consider as being a “superconductive” goalie. He not only generates a ton of energy by being explosive with his pushes and slides, but his sheer determination to stop the puck also energizes his teammates. He battles hard, he has strong second efforts, and he’s not afraid to lunge with his body or reach with his hands in order to knock away or cover loose pucks. These are great assets to have on a gifted offensive team like the Golden Gophers.

When I watch Wilcox perform, I’m reminded of another highly athletic and naturally gifted goalie in Sharks prospect Alex Stalock. As it turns out, this isn’t not just a coincidence; they’re actually cousins. Knowing this, and knowing how successful Stalock was during his collegiate career, I can’t help but imagine Wilcox having similar upside in terms of his potential NCAA and minor-league career.

In terms of his stance, Wilcox plays up on his toes and has natural hand placement. His glove is held traditionally, with the hand at the three-o’clock position and close to his body. When pucks are in the 8-to-12 foot range, he’s often seen crouching with a real good bend at the knees, which helps him gain depth with ease and move laterally with explosiveness.

In my opinion, the most pressing area of concern for Wilcox is learning how to control his athleticism. Being energetic and explosive is a great trait to have, but at times it can lead to excess movement and issues with angles. He will also want to be smart with his timing and his decision-making. Because he’s so aggressive moving the puck, making smart decisions and staying controlled will be at the top of his checklist for a successful outing.

Another note I have when scouting Wilcox is his ability to seal off the upper corners. Due to his crouch and his smaller frame, keeping his back straight and staying as tall as possible in the butterfly is very important to his success when facing elevated shots. This may not be an issue on shots that are just a few feet away from the goal line, but when shots originate from around 10 feet out, if he’s too hunched over, shooters will have the chance to pick corners.

In that regard, Wilcox reminds me a little bit of Sergei Bobrovksy; a highly athletic reflex-based goalie that needs to stay very square and upright in order to play big and cover aerial angles.

Overall, Wilcox is a raw-skilled talent that exhibits a lot of natural athleticism and enthusiasm in the crease. He loves to move the puck as much as possible, and he’s naturally gifted with great reflexes. He doesn’t have a large frame, so being able to challenge shots without over-amplifying his movements is the biggest key to his success.

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