Prospects Library: Adam Wilcox
10-28 vs. Canisius
10-20 @ Michigan Tech
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.