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Erne's Background A Plus During Prospects Tournament

Tuesday, 09.10.2013 / 2:40 PM / Features
By Missy Zielinski  - Lightning Beat Reporter
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Erne\'s Background A Plus During Prospects Tournament
Erne\'s Background A Plus During Prospects Tournament

It shouldn’t be seen as a surprise that 2013 second round draft pick (33rd overall) Adam Erne’s success has translated at every level he’s played during his short hockey career.

Spending the better part of his young life living everywhere from the Northeastern United States, to California, the Midwest and Canada, Erne has grown into a dynamic forward with a wealth of knowledge and experience that he knew he could only get from packing up and hitting the road.

“I wanted to do whatever it took to be able to play at the next level,” Erne said. “I wanted to get good coaching and learn what I needed to know to get to the next level.”

I wanted to do whatever it took to be able to play at the next level.Adam Erne

“It helped me mature as a younger kid and I got to know a lot of people,” he continued. “It helps a lot growing up and getting to know the kids you’re playing against.”

Erne’s development and ability to deal with change were clearly evident during the 2013 Prospects Tournament in Coral Springs, Florida too.

Finishing tied for fourth in scoring during the weekend, not only did the 18-year-old and his linemates propel themselves from the second line on Day 1 to the top line on Day 2, Erne was also forced to become acclimated with new linemates’ Tanner Richard and Henri Ikonen on Day 3.

“I think for me it’s easier to adapt, easier to get chemistry with different lines and different people,” said Erne. “I played with different teams every two years, so it’s pretty easy.”

Erne, who had one goal and two assists on the first day of the rookie tourney saw five different players contribute on each of his three points (Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Dan Milan, Tanner Richard, J.T. Brown) in their first game versus the Boston Bruins.

Erne was a 2013 NHL Entry Draft selection by Tampa Bay.

The second line of Erne, Namestnikov and Kucherov, which finished with eight points on the afternoon, were then promoted to the first line Saturday against the Nashville Predators.

And again, came another five points from the trio.

"There's just a lot of skill between Namestnikov and Kucherov," said tournament coach Rob Zettler. "Erne compliments them because he's a go-to-the-net kind of guy, he goes to the dirty areas and gets to the hard spots. They all just work well together and it was fun to watch."

On Sunday Erne made the linemate switch before facing the Florida Panthers and despite not accumulating any points, he didn’t think the change stunted his growth.

Right from the beginning of camp my line was new and it was only two games,” he said. “You get to know guys a little bit, but we all played together at development camp, so it was alright.”

The prospect tournament also gave him a chance to add to the list of players and coaches, who’ve taken him under their helm.

“I think we have a great group of guys and we blended as a team,” said Erne.

With Erne’s focus now leaning toward the ensuing few weeks with training camp gearing up, his ability to not only cope with, but excel at every test he’s been given is a good sign of things to come for the now Québec Remparts forward. It also does its part in showing the Tampa Bay coaching staff that he’s one candidate they can rely on with a team that has so many moving parts.