Rangers’ Adam Fox blooming with maturity beyond years

Adam Fox Rangers
Adam Fox continues to step up on the Rangers’ blue line.
Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

There was little doubt that New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox was going to be something special in the NHL, but he’s still impressing as he reached his 100th career game in a Monday night win over the Buffalo Sabres.

The 23-year-old put up a goal, his first even-strength tally of the season, and two assists in the Rangers’ 5-3 triumph — their third in four games — improving his totals this season to three goals and 18 assists (21 points).

He now has 63 points in his first 100 games — better than plenty of forwards

“I got to see him last year for three or four games at the rookie tournament and I remember there was one game where I think our team had 15 scoring chances and I think he was in on 12 of them, so I kind of had an idea of what kind of player he was,” Rangers acting head coach, Kris Knoblauch said. “But seeing him in the NHL at ice level has been eye-opening for me.”

Knoblauch is filling in for head coach David Quinn as he goes through league COVID protocols and overseen the Rangers’ recent run of winning form.

Much of it has to do with the return of star winger Artemi Panarin, but Fox has been solid with a four-game point streak of his own to go with steady defensive play.

“I’d known he was a good hockey player but now seeing him at ice level, seeing the plays he’s making and how composed he is, not only is he good with the puck, he’s really good defensively, being able to read,” Knoblauch said. “He’s not overly physical, but he’s able to defend with the skills that he has.”

The Long Island native has shown poise on the defensive side of the puck beyond his years, guaranteeing the Rangers have a top-pairing blueliner to build its foundation upon during this rebuild. So much so that even his veteran teammates can’t help but be appreciative.

“Where do I start? He’s unbelievable,” forward Mika Zibanejad said. “The way he plays with the puck, I think everyone can see that he’s so calm, he makes the right decision all the time and he’s been really good defensively this year.

“I can’t believe this was his 100th game tonight. The way he plays, he means so much to us, offensively, defensively, and obviously on the power play as well.”