Adam Cracknell

Adam Cracknell

From JDF minor hockey to the NHL

Langford’s Adam Cracknell tastes the big time with St. Louis Blues

Adam Cracknell remembers playing Juan de Fuca minor hockey as a teenager and thinking the National Hockey League was “so far away.”

But for the 2010-2011 NHL season, Langford’s Cracknell found himself playing centre-forward for the St. Louis Blues for 24 games.

When he wasn’t playing for the NHL team, Cracknell laced up for the Peoria Rivermen, a farm team for the Blues.

During the season he played 68 games for the Rivermen, a team in the American Hockey League out of Illinois. On right wing, he scored six goals and had 19 assists during the regular season, and two goals in the playoffs.

“I was up and down (between the teams) all season,” Cracknell said.

Getting the call up to the NHL was a memorable moment for Cracknell. He called his parents first thing to share the news.

“It was an exciting time for myself and my family and my friends,” Cracknell said.

His first NHL game with the Blues was against Detroit in mid-December.

The hardworking six-foot-one forward finished his NHL stint on March 30, also against Detroit, with three goals and four assists.

The NHL is a big step from when Cracknell was a four-year-old kid playing hockey in his driveway.

He moved to the West Shore from Prince Alberta, Sask. when he was 15. He played one season with JDF minor hockey before he hitting the ice for the Junior B Saanich Braves at 16.

Now 25, Cracknell lives in Langford and is spending his summer training and preparing for the next season.

“Setting goals is a big thing if you want to accomplish anything,” Cracknell said. “My next goal is to be a full-time NHL player.”

At the end of August, Cracknell will head back to St. Louis to attend the Blue’s training camp.

“Usually there is about 50 players there and we practise for a week and play about 10 exhibition games,” Cracknell said.

In the meantime, Cracknell is coaching youth hockey players at Puckmasters in Colwood. He coaches one-on-one sessions as well as group camps.

When on the ice with the aspiring players, he emphasizes that a great skill in hockey is listening.

“Listen to any advice people have to give,” Cracknell said.

While the kids think it’s neat to be coached by an NHL player, it’s their parents that get awestruck, said Puckmasters president Kevin De Jong.

Over the summer Cracknell works out with a personal trainer for three-hour sessions, three times a week. He also skates on the ice treadmill at Puckmasters twice a week.

“(The treadmill) is really hard, but it’s rewarding. It’s hard to stay on skates at a speed you are not used to,” Cracknell said. “It inclines so you are definitely increasing cardio too.”

Coaching young, up-and-coming hockey players is something that is important to Cracknell. When in minor hockey, he was coached by NHL players such as Curtis Brown of the Buffalo Sabres and Roman Vopat of the St. Louis Blues.

“As a kid (the NHL) seems like it is so far away. Especially when you play for a team that is not the best or you aren’t winning games,” Cracknell remembers. “I was never a star player, I just worked hard and played for fun.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner’s report confirms cause of death of three men at Sooke River in 2020

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen drown while ‘puddle-jumping’ in pickup truck

The Pacheedaht First Nation is planning a $1-million expansion to its campground in Port Renfrew. (Pixabay photo)
Expanded camping announced for Pacheedaht Campground

$1-million project is part of the B.C. Rural Economic Recovery program

Soloman and Zev Nagler enjoy time on the beach at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park on a summer day. The Capital Regional District is in the process of determining whether to institute parking fees at this and eight other CRD parks. (Black Press Media file photo)
CRD parks committee rejects new Greater Victoria parking fees – again

More arguments against fee hikes, pay parking at nine parks, brought forward by committee members

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Strong winds predicted for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issues warning for Thursday afternoon

From Feb. 25 to April 30, the Galloping Goose Trail will be reduced to a single lane between Gorge Road East and Burnside Road East for a Capital Regional District sewer line renewal project. (Map via the Capital Regional District)
CRD sewer work brings delays to Galloping Goose Trail

Parts of trail, Cecelia Ravine Park impacted until April 30

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

A battery electric-hybrid ferry, pictured here, is expected to make its way to Vancouver Island in late 2021, says B.C. Ferries. (Submitted photo)
Hybrid ferry for Gabriola-Nanaimo route launches in shipyard in Europe

Two hybrid vessels to replace MV Quinsam by early 2022, says B.C. Ferries

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Lease ‘important first step’ in $105-million Nanaimo port expansion project

Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement for Duke Point

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

Most Read