Earlier this week on the first day of development camp, Rangers’ dynamic left wing Adam Sikora, drafted 63rd overall in 2022, drew a thunderous response from every coach and fellow prospect he was on the ice with.
The Rangers were doing speed-skating drills and timing each player one-on-one, and Sciorra was the fastest from the goal line to the opposite blue line.
“They told me I’m the best here,” said the 18-year-old Slovakian. “So I’m very happy with it, but it’s just testing. I am very happy that I was the fastest skater here.
The 60-foot skating test measures acceleration versus speed, which makes it incredibly predictable — according to Advantage Strength, a personal training business in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Sykora has been playing in Slovakia’s top hockey league Tipos Extraliga for the last three seasons.
He posted the fastest time among his fellow prospects competing in the NCAA, US National Team Development Program, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and others.
That certainly says something about the 5-foot-10, 172-pound forward.
“He’s a high-energy guy,” said Jed Ortmeyer, Rangers’ director of development. “It was great to have those handful of guys here at the end of the season in Hartford. Playoff races and being around a winning culture [head coach Kris Knoblauch, assistant coach Steve Smith and assistant coach Jamie Tardif] built down there.
Sikora agreed with the sentiment, saying it was fun for the Wolf Pack to finish off the 2022-23 campaign with a playoff game.
After two regular season games, Sciorra skated in four post-season contests, in which he contributed one assist.
He said he expected to play all of the next season of the American Hockey League with a Rangers affiliate.
“It was a huge moment for me because there were also NHL players there,” he said. “The atmosphere, the coaches were good, everything was good there. everything was preparing me [for the next step in my career]So I was grateful for this opportunity.
Among other adjustments, Sikora had to adapt to smaller rink sizes and increased physical play in the AHL. He likes to play fast and physical, he said, so it was just a matter of remembering to keep his head up in a more confined space than before.
Depending on how training camp goes, Sikora will play next season in the AHL, another North American league, or in the league of his home country. The tenacious wing is still young and small and will need to improve before he is ready to make the leap into the NHL.
“Of course, it’s still exciting,” Sikora said of attending his second development camp. “But I have more confidence in myself and I’m more comfortable here.”