By Eldon MacDonald
Adam Erne – “Mr. Heartbeat” – Right Wing – USA
Size: 6’1”, 198 lb.
Born: 20-Apr-95 – New Haven, CT; Hometown: North Brantford, CT
Team: #73, Québec Remparts, QMJHL
QMJHL draft: #22 in 2011 (round 2) – drafted by Halifax
2011-12 Stats: 64-28-27-55-32-(+6) + QMJHL playoffs: 11-2-4-6-10-(+5)
A List – NHL Central Scouting Preliminary Rankings
06 – HockeyProspect.com – Oct-12
08 – The Scouting Report – Sep-12 Preliminary Top 30
HM – Bob MacKenzie – Pre Season Poll of Scouts (HM = 11 to 20)
12 – The Hockey Guys – Nov-12
13 – Future Considerations – Oct-12
17 – ISS – Oct-12
20 – TSN’s Craig Button – Oct-12
21 – McKeen’s – Nov-12
In the New York Times best seller, “The One Minute Manager”, it is said that you have only 45 seconds to make your impression in a job interview. Well, it took only a heartbeat for Adam Erne to tell me that he is going to be a NHL player in the near future. He has that combination of size and speed that you just can’t overlook. Plus, he seems to be getting better and better each time you see him. The hearts of QMJHL goalies seem to be beating a little faster these days when Adam steps on the ice.
That Crazy Thing Called “Geography”
Adam Erne either gets an “A” in geography in all his classes or he just ignores it altogether. I strongly suspect the latter. Consider his hockey itinerary thus far:
- 1995 – Kid is born in Connecticut – US northeast coastal state; plays his hockey in the northeast including the Top Gun Program.
- 2008 – Kid from Connecticut plays a few summer tournaments in LA – loves it, loves the coaches – moves to LA, US western coastal state, to play Bantam AAA - moves in with one the coaches and their family – kid is what, 13? Coach turns out to be Bill Comrie. Turns out Mr. Comrie has two sons – one who is a goalie. Turns out the goalie is the starting goalie for the team – Eric Comrie. Yes, he is the same Eric Comrie who will push Spencer Martin, Zach Fucale and others to become the first goalie selected in the 2013 NHL entry draft.
- 2010 – Now 15, kid moves back to New Jersey, US mid-Atlantic coastal state, to play for the Jr. A New Jersey Rockets.
- 2010 – Kid at 15 commits to staying in US northeast and playing for Boston University.
- 2010 – Kid, still 15, turns heads and heads to Indiana, US mid-west state to play for the Indiana Ice in the USHL, finishing the season with 18 points in 45 games.
- 2011 – Kid, now 16, gets drafted by Halifax Mooseheads (Canadian east coast) of the QMJHL at #22.
- 2011 – Kid, still 16, still giddy from getting drafted by Halifax gets traded to Quebec in Central Canada. Looking at the price that Quebec paid to get him (a 2012 2nd rounder plus 1sts in 2013 and 2014), kid must be good. As a side note, this is the deal that allowed Halifax to have enough assets to trade for Nathan MacKinnon.
- 2011 – Kid, still 16, decides hockey is the life for him. It’s going to be NHL or bust – decommits to Boston University and commits to playing for the Quebec Remparts and their legendary coach and general manager, Patrick Roy.
- 2012 – Kid, still 16, finishes 1st season in the Q with 55 points in 66 games, one of the star 16 year olds in the league. Check out his highlights from the season.
11. 2012 – Kid, still 17, now more of a man, starts his NHL draft eligible season with QMJHL – after 19 games is 13th in Q scoring and moving up – not too shabby. Check out his four goal game.
No matter where it is in hockey, Adam Erne has seemingly been there or considered being there. I am still wondering about his geographic acumen, though!
Adam Erne, The Hockey Player
What kind of hockey player is raising the heartbeat of scouts, fans and opposition goalies alike? Consider the items below and make your own judement:
- Size – At 6’1 and 198 lbs. and likely to get a bit bigger, he has that NHL solid physique that teams are craving for these days.
- Speed – A powerful skating stride and good balance makes him appear on the scene in front of the goal all too often these days for opposition goalies. This summer he spent considerable effort on roadwork to build up his acceleration out of the blocks. Check it out for yourself.
- Dedication – Just look at his hockey itinerary above and you realize that this is a guy who will do just about anything to make it. He wants to learn and spends the time on and off the ice to do what it takes to improve.
- Shot – Bursts off his stick.
- Goes to the net – Engages physically to get those power forward type goals.
- Dependable – Works the whole ice surface, backchecks, plays well defensively and has been known to deliver some crushing open ice hits. Check out this hit on Olivier Archambault.
- Playmaker – Has a nice passing ability and can play centre as well. Nice hands.
- Versatile – Can play all three forward positions; can play in an offensive or defensive role as required.
Adam started the season on the 2nd line with Kurt Etchegary at centre. However, after Kurt got hurt, Adam has mainly been on the 1st line with Mikhail Grigorenko and Nikita Kucherov or Nick Sorenson. At the start of the season Mikhail Grigorenko was the guy who caught your eye when you watched Remparts’ games. Now, however, your eyes are drifting more and more to Adam Erne as he is all over the ice, pushing the play and having a lot of success in the offensive zone as his point totals draw closer and closer to the top of the Q scoring race.
The Road Ahead
Adam Erne is for me the most talented of the three potential 1st round power forwards coming out of the Q this year – the others being Anthony Mantha and William Carrier. He has the edge in skills and also has the dedication and hard work to keep himself on the upward learning curve. He has top 10 skills and in most years he would go in the top 10. However, 2013 is a deep draft year at the top and the competition is fierce so whether he goes inside the top 10 or just outside it is a story yet to be written. As you can see by the rankings of the pundits above, there are supporters for both sides. However, if he continues to progress at the same rate, I believe “in” the top 10 is more likely than not.