Wednesday, November 18, 2015

UNH's Newest Recruit Eric MacAdams

2017 UNH Recruit
Eric MacAdams

This past Saturday, 18-year-old Eric MacAdams (DOB: 4/29/1997), a former star at Austin Prep School and current member of the Sioux Fall Stampede of the USHL, verbally committed to UNH for the Fall of 2017. The 5'11', 175 lbs., right-shot forward from Salem, Massachusetts has been playing right wing for the Stampede in his rookie season and has scored 3 goals in 13 games. Here's his first USHL goal (courtesy of Stampede TV) which came in his fourth game, a 7-3 win over the Sioux City Musketeers:

Eric MacAdams played his youth hockey with the Valley Jr. Warriors (VJW) based at the Haverill (MA) Valley Forum. He was a key member of the VJW '97 Elites team which first gained national attention in the 2009-10 season. Eric and his 12 & Under teammates won the Massachusetts State Championship and advanced to the semifinals of the USA Hockey Tier 1 National Championship tournament. The VJW 12U team was coached by Eric's Dad Steve MacAdams and included future NCAA standouts Casey Fitzgerald and Noah Hanifin.

In the 2011-12 season, MacAdams and the Valley Jr. Warriors '97 Elites won another Massachusetts State Championship and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 14 & Under National Championship tournament. That team included three future Boston College players - Hanafin, Fitzgerald, and Colin White. The 2011-12 season marked the first time the '97 Elites played a split season (i.e., Fall and Spring) in order to accommodate players joining their Massachusetts high school teams. As an 8th grader, Eric MacAdams scored 4 goals and 15 assists in 19 games for St. Mary's High School in Lynn, MA.

As a freshman, sophomore, and junior, Eric MacAdams played a split season with the Valley Jr. Warriors '97 Elites and became a star player at Austin Prep. His Dad Steve was the head coach for the VJW and an assistant coach at Austin Prep. In his freshman year, MacAdams scored 8 goals and 14 assists in 24 games with Austin Prep as the Cougars advanced to the Massachusetts Super 8 Championship game. In the finals, Austin Prep lost to Malden Catholic who was lead by current UNH freshman Ara Nazarian. That Austen Prep team also featured future Hockey East players Bob Carpenter (BU) and Nolan Vesey (Maine). In that same 2012-13 season, MacAdams posted 8 goals and 6 assists for the Valley Junior Warriors Under 16 team (also known as the '97 Elites).

MacAdams experienced several highs and a couple lows during the 2013-14 season. For all the details, I recommend a feature article by Russ Bitely, the hockey writer for Eric had a strong fall season with the Valley Jr. Warriors Under 16 team scoring 13 goals and 12 assists in 12 games. His sophomore season at Austin Prep was severely hampered first by an injury to his spleen then with a case of mononucleosis. After he returned to the Cougars' lineup in February, he scored the bulk of his 6 goals and 14 assists. For the second consecutive year, Austin Prep advanced to the Super 8 Championship Game but lost again to Ara Nazarian and the Malden Catholic Lancers. MacAdams posted 3 goals and an assist in three Super 8 games.

In the spring of that 2013-14 season, MacAdams and the Valley Jr. Warriors '97 Elites won the Massachusetts State Championship and advanced to the USA Hockey National Championship tournament for the third time. Although the Jr. Warriors did not get past the opening round of the Tier 1 Under-16 tourney, MacAdams scored two goals, including a winning, shootout goal, in their three games. That summer, Eric was invited to the USA Hockey's Select 17 Player Development Camp. Here is Russ Bitely's summary of MacAdams' performance:
"I thought he (MacAdams) showcased a solid all-around game and may just have more offensive punch then he is getting credit. In one game, he was certainly one of the better performers on the ice as I circled his name after he displayed smart, little touches around the ice showing good vision, strong puck possession, and nifty forehand-backhand finish for a goal too. He produced four goals and two assists in the week long player development camp in the five games played."
Last season was Eric MacAdams final one with both the Valley Jr. Warriors and Austin Prep. He posted 8 goals and 9 assists in 12 games with the VJW Under-18 team. As a junior, he was the captain at Austin Prep and he lead the team in scoring with 19 goals and 23 assists in 24 games. At the end of the season, the Boston Herald selected MacAdams to the All-Scholastic Hockey "Dream Team".

One last note: When Eric played for the Valley Jr. Warriors in his teen years, he received coaching from Tom Fitzgerald who is currently the Assistant General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Fitzgerald offered this assessment of MacAdams.:
“A great kid! He plays with a ton of emotion, energy, and sandpaper. Strong work ethic and compete level.”
I had an opportunity to interview Eric, via email, about his background, commitment to UNH, and future plans:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Congratulations on your commitment to play for the University of New Hampshire. What are the main reasons you chose UNH?

Eric MacAdams: I chose UNH because not only is it great school, it has a great hockey tradition. They also have some world class coaches and I'm honored to get the opportunity to play for them. Also, the campus is incredible and seems like home for me. The location is nice to, it is not too far from home so my family can come watch.

Mike Lowry: What other college programs were you considering?

Eric MacAdams: I was considering Providence, Merrimack, and Boston University. Once UNH had offered, I knew it was the right decision.

Lowry: Have you and the UNH coaches agreed on a target date for you to enroll as a freshman at UNH and join the team?

MacAdams: The target date for my freshmen year is going to be Fall 2017.

Lowry: Last season, you capped off a three-year career at Austin Prep (Reading, MA) by leading the team in scoring and advancing to the semifinals of the Super 8 Massachusetts High School Championships. Over the summer, you went out to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, tried out for and made the roster for the Sioux Falls Stampede. What were the main reasons you decided to spend your final year of high school playing out in the United States Hockey League?

MacAdams: The main reasons I chose to go to the USHL were because it was the next step in my development and I wanted to achieve my goal of playing Division I college hockey.

Lowry: So far, you've scored 3 goals in 10 games with the Stampede. What's it been like playing against older, more experienced players in the highly competitive USHL?

MacAdams: Playing against older, experienced competition has allowed me to form my game to what it takes at the collegiate level. I've also got a lot of help from my veterans on my team.

Lowry: The Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL selected you in the 14th round of the 2014 Draft. Do you have any interest in foregoing the NCAA route and playing major junior hockey in Canada??

MacAdams: Although it was a honor to be drafted by Drummondville in the QMJHL, college was always the goal for me.

Lowry: At this stage in your hockey development, what are the strengths of your game? What areas are you trying to improve?

MacAdams: I think the strengths of my game are playing in all three zones and doing the little things to help my team win. I think I can improve on all aspects of my game.

Lowry: Your Dad, Steve, has coached some of your youth hockey teams with the Valley Junior Warriors organization. What are the most valuable lessons he has taught you?

MacAdams: The most valuable lessons my father taught me were to be a good teammate and person, never get outworked, and give an honest effort all the time.

Lowry: What are your academic strengths and interests?

MacAdams: I'm very interested in Business, Athletic Training, and math.


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