BRYAN WILSON – 09.17.2023
Whether on the ice or off it, Adam Klapka is a presence.
Klapka appeared in 60 games for the AHL Wranglers in 2022-23, registering 13 goals, 25 points and 80 penalty minutes in his first pro season in North America and he wasted little time getting on the scoresheet at the Young Stars Classic in Penticton this weekend.
He has points in back-to-back games, picking up an assist against the Canucks on Friday and scoring the overtime winner against the Oilers on Saturday night.
In a short tournament it’s important to build chemistry quickly, and in that regard, Saturday night’s victory was a big step in the right direction.
“It was a huge win for us, it helped with the mentality,” said Klapka on Sunday. “Winning is fun every time, so we’re happy for that, obviously. We wanted to win a couple games here and show we are good enough to compete with the other prospects.”
Leading by example on the ice is important, but so, too, is how you carry yourself off it.
Despite being an intimidating force during games, Klapka is rarely seen without a smile on his face around the rink, and he’s shown valuable leadership abilities in terms of how he interacts with his teammates, and with the media.
So it came as no surprise, really, to see him wearing an ‘A’ on his sweater at this year’s Young Stars Classic.
“It’s a big honour for me,” he said. “I haven’t had a letter on my jersey in like, 10 years, since I was in junior, so it’s a really big honour that I can represent the Flames with a letter on my jersey.”
At 6-foot-7, 235-lb., Klapka towers over the competition. His size enables the 23-year-old to be an effective net-front option for the Flames. He focused on his skating this summer and continues to work on that aspect of his game daily, and this season, he intends to utilize his size, specifically, more to his advantage.
“I want to be more physical, I think that’s the main thing for me,” Klapka explained. “Play physical and play heavy on the ice. That’s what I worked on the most over the summer.”
While many players head home during the offseason, Klapka (who hails from Prague, Czech Republic) opted to stay close to Calgary, staying in Kamloops. As you’d expect, he spent the majority of his time training, but he says he did manage to find a new pass-time … at least, new to him.
“The only thing I do is work out, and play hockey,” he said with a grin. “I started golfing this summer and I really like it, so golf is really the only thing (outside of hockey) that I did.”
As for his golf game…
“It’s getting better,” he laughed. “It’s not great, but it’s getting better.”