Sting centre Adam Ruzicka off to a blazing start.
Second-year centre improves production by changing his game
Everything was new for Adam Ruzicka last season – new team, new league, new country.
The Sarnia Sting centre had to get adjusted to a new way of life after arriving from Bratislava, Slovakia, for his rookie campaign.
This season, the rest of the OHL has to adjust to a new Ruzicka.
The 18-year-old is off to a blazing start after reworking his game and his mindset in the off-season.
“My game has completely changed from last year,” Ruzicka said. “I changed my sense of urgency and compete in the games and my willingness, so my game looks different now. That's why I'm scoring some goals and playing good.”
He leads the Sting with seven goals and 12 points in seven games. He's in the top four in the OHL in both categories.
Last season, Ruzicka didn't score his seventh goal until his 23rd game.
He's done a good job of capitalizing on his scoring chances this season. He's skating faster and carrying the puck with more confidence.
He worked hard all summer to take his play to a higher level.
“Now the season came and I had a good NHL camp and I had lots of experience from the NHL camp and I brought it here,” he said. “It's good.”
The six-foot-four, 215-pound Ruzicka went to his first NHL camp after being chosen by the Calgary Flames in the fourth round of this year's draft.
The Flames didn't have picks in the second or third rounds, so he was their second overall selection.
He played three games for the Flames at a rookie tournament in Penticton, B.C.
“It was a good tournament overall,” he said. “That's where I showed them that I can play hockey. That's why I got invited to main camp. It was good overall for me.”
Playing at the Flames' main camp helped to prepare him for this season in Sarnia.
“It's an amazing feeling to know those guys, guys which play in the NHL,” he said. “And to know how they work, how they practise, how they eat, how they work their normal lives. It's an amazing feeling to be there, to be with those guys. It gives you a lot of confidence to come back to junior.”
Ruzicka is on a three-game goal-scoring streak. He'll try to extend it Friday when the Sting host the Mississauga Steelheads at 7:05 p.m. at Progressive Auto Sales Arena.
They'll also host the Guelph Storm at 7:05 p.m. Saturday and visit the Windsor Spitfires at 2:05 p.m. Sunday.
Sarnia Sting centre Adam Ruzicka is one of the leading scorers in the Ontario Hockey League with 12 points in seven games.