BRYAN WILSON – 05.12.2023
In his first pro season in North America, forward Adam Klapka is beginning to round into form at the right time for the Wranglers.
The 22-year-old has shown an ability to impact the game in a variety of ways so far this season. At 6-foot-7, 235 lbs., Klapka plays a hard, physical brand of hockey and has dropped the mitts six times so far.
He has also demonstrated high-end skill around the net, with the puck on his stick, and has been used effectively on the Wranglers powerplay, scoring five extra-strength goals during the regular season.
He registered 13 goals and 25 points in 60 games this season, including two game-winners; none bigger than the goal he scored in the final game to help the Wranglers clinch top spot in the AHL.
Klapka currently sits tied for the team lead with three goals in five games during the postseason and has lit the lamp in back-to-back games. He scored in the Wranglers’ Game 1 setback against the Firebirds on Thursday night but despite the personal success, he says he would trade it all for a win.
“It’s nice, but obviously I would change it for a team win. I just do my best, but I hope we can win as a team,” said Klapka.
Assistant coach Joe Cirella spoke to Klapka’s ability to use all the tools in his arsenal effectively this season and has been impressed with his ability to elevate his play in big moments.
“He’s a young player that’s learning the game. He’s definitely elevating his game and finding some success doing that,” Cirella explained.
“It’s all the little details that make him a good player. He uses his body, he uses his reach, he’s got a good shot and is a good net front guy on the powerplay. If you continue to do all those little things, you get rewarded and that’s what’s been happening.”
Looking ahead to Game 2 tonight, Klapka doesn’t intend to change his approach and neither do the Wranglers, who will be sticking to what has made them successful all season long.
“The game plan is the same as the first game,” Klapka explained. “But we have to be much better than we were. We’ll reset and we’re going to focus on our game and going for the win.”