It’s time for another Calgary Flames prospect update! Let’s check out another centerman and see how Adam Ruzicka did this past season.
Centerman Adam Ruzicka didn’t have a completely impressive junior career, but he did transition from playing in Europe to playing in North America at the age of 17. In his first year playing in Canada with the Sarnia Sting of the OHL, he still put up a respectable amount of points. He had 25 goals and 46 points in 61 games in his first year in the OHL before he was drafted in 2017. The Calgary Flames selected Ruzicka at the 109th pick in the fourth round.
It was somewhat of a steal for the club since Ruzicka was projected at going in the second or third round.
At 6’4″ and 209 lbs, Flames scouts liked his size and recognized that it took him a bit to transition into the North American game. His most impressive qualities were his puck control and his abilities to move the puck.
Via Calgary Flames:
“Adam’s a big, strong kid with some skill who struggled for a while trying to figure out the North American game,” says Flames’ scout Fred Parker. “Once he got going, he went on a bit of a roll for. He got a little tired towards the end of the year but then went back to represent his country and played great again.
“There was an adjustment period, no question. He was a leader on his team in (Slovakia).
“Physically, he can handle anything thrown at him. It’s a question of whether he can develop consistency to his game in a small rink.”
This past season, Ruzicka was quite busy. He was playing in his second season with the Sarnia Sting and took a small break to represent Slovakia at the World Juniors. This was his second time playing for the U20 team at just 18 years old and has played for the U18, U17, and U16 teams. At the World Juniors, Slovakia made it to the quarter-finals but lost 3-2 to Sweden.
Ruzicka finished the tournament with two points in five games. While he didn’t get a lot of points, his line was the dependable two-way line. Kind of like the Calgary Flames 3M line, if you want to compare.
With the Sting this past season, Ruzicka had 36 goals and 72 points in 63 games – a big improvement from his 46 points the year before. The Sting made it to the playoffs and advanced to the second round, but were upset by the Kitchener Rangers. Ruzicka had three points in 12 playoff games.
Ruzicka will most likely be playing in the OHL for the next two years, seeing how he doesn’t have any sort of contract with the Flames right now.