Just a couple of days after getting his first NHL point on October 24 against Buffalo, Rangers rookie Adam Fox's hard work at practice was evident. The shirt underneath his jersey was drenched.
Were it not for this perspiration, it'd be easy to forget Fox is a professional athlete. After all, he comes to the Rangers as a 22-year-old fresh out of Harvard, where he will graduate in the spring of 2020 with the rest of his class. Now in New York, he is getting a different kind of education.
"I'm still learning the subway a little bit," Fox said. "I definitely know how to take the train to the Tribeca area to get meals with some of the guys, but I definitely think without my phone I'd get lost."
One thing is for sure: The first-year Rangers defenseman doesn't look lost on the ice. His first point was assist on a Chris Kreider goal against the Sabres. He scored his first goal five days later against the Lightning. To date, he has three points and a plus-three rating in 12 games.
Fox says it's surreal to play with the Rangers, especially since his father was a season-ticket holder who used to bring him to Madison Square Garden to watch the Blueshirts play. When Fox, who is from a New York suburb, found out that he had been traded to his hometown squad, he was thrilled.
"I was in a little bit of disbelief," Fox said. "It's the team that I grew up rooting for. When I heard, I had to take a moment to take it in. It was definitely cool when I got that call."
Fox is happy that he is playing near his family and friends. He still stays in touch with some of his former teammates on the Long Island Gulls of the Atlantic Youth Hockey League. He had fun skating in rinks across the New York tri-state area and said he has a group text chat with some of his friends, where they keep each other informed of news from their youth league.
The promising rookie is doing everything in his power to succeed in the sport he loves. "It's nice to just be able to focus on hockey," he said, noting that a big difference between Harvard and the Rangers, one of the youngest teams in the league, is "not having to go to class." When he isn't playing or practicing, Fox keeps busy by exploring the city and trying new restaurants. He likes sushi, but is not a fan of foods that are spicy.
Fox wants to add to the Rangers defense and showcase the "sixth sense" that his Harvard coach Ted Donato once said makes him stand out. He hopes to continue putting in the time and work to make himself better. It's a job he welcomes much more than the job he used to have.
"I used to get a few dollars taking out the trash at home when I was a kid," Fox said. "But I wasn't doing it out of the goodness of my heart. I wanted the rewards."
As a Ranger, Fox thinks the hard work is itself a reward.
Photo credit: Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports