Adam Carlson of Edina, Minnesota just signed a two-year deal with the Washington Capitals. He will report immediately to the organization’s top minor-league team, the Hershey Bears of the AHL, with a chance to work up and play with stars like Alexander Ovechkin.
However, just a few years ago, Carlson thought about giving up on hockey altogether.
As a sophomore, Carlson didn’t make it onto Edina High School’s junior varsity roster. Then he was cut again, as a senior from the varsity team. Edina is a hockey power-house in Minnesota, they’ve won 12 state titles since 1969. Carlson couldn’t make the cut, year after year, but he stuck with the sport he loves, playing on club teams during high school. He played three seasons in junior hockey, two of which in the NAHL, after graduating from Edina, before finally getting signed to a Division I college team.
“Now, who thought I’d be sitting here with a pro contract in my hands? I never really thought I could do what I am doing. … I worked hard and had an absolute blast doing it,” Carlson told the Star Tribune.
Carlson impressed Capital’s goalie coach Mitch Korn with his “stick-with-it” background and Korn’s belief in “late bloomers who don’t have silver spoons in their mouth.”
The Capitals first took notice of Carlson in his freshman season with Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA. Carlson made 33 saves in a victory over Army. Mercyhurst head coach Rich Gotkin said that the Captials, “made it clear he has NHL potential.” and that, “[For an NHL team] to take a freshman goalie out of college, that just doesn’t happen often.”
Carlson said that he wants to thank the coaching staff at Edina for teaching him a valuable lesson about hard work and determination. He’s poised to start a bright career with the Capitals organization.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports