Rookie centreman will start the season in St. John's but could be in Winnipeg before long
There aren’t many words that are used more incorrectly than “irony.” Even the brightest people get confused with the definition.
So here’s one from Merriam Webster’s learnersdictionary.com, which lists irony as “The use of words that mean the opposite of what you really think, especially in order to be funny.”
© Photo courtesy St. John's IceCaps
If you want an example of irony, perhaps you can consider the Twitter handle of St. John’s IceCaps’ rookie Adam Lowry, who goes by @ALowsyPlayer17.
It’s a combination of his first initial, his dressing-room nickname and his jersey number as a junior with the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos. But taken collectively, those elements create something that couldn’t be further from the truth.
First-round picks Mark Scheifele, Jacob Trouba and Josh Morrissey may get the most ink among Winnipeg Jets prospects, but those in the know believe Lowry, with his skill, size and mental make-up, has plenty of NHL potential.
He is the furthest thing from a lousy player, no matter how you spell it.
It turns out the ALowsyPlayer moniker was originally his gamer tag when he began playing Call of Duty.
“It’s just a little play on words. We thought it was funny when we created it for xBox and it just stuck,” said the 20-year-old Lowry.
“But I’m comfortable with it.”
Comfort is something Lowry is feeling a lot of these days as he embarks on a professional hockey career. He’s coming off a solid training-camp experience with the Jets, despite being sidelined for a while because of whiplash suffered in an early scrimmage.
He received positive comments from coaches and management, outright praise in some cases by the Winnipeg media, even a suggestion he would be playing in the NHL before the end of this season.
“It’s obviously nice to hear that and know that there are expectations, not only from management. But for me at least, it’s also a matter of putting pressure on yourself, you want to perform to the best of your abilities. Going into Winnipeg, I just wanted to make a good impression and I think I was able to do that,” said Lowry, who was Winnipeg’s third-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
“Coming to St. John’s, I want to continue with that.”
In a way, it’s coming back to St. John’s, because Lowry played nine games for the IceCaps at the end of the 2012-13 season after finishing up his four-year junior career, spent entirely with Swift Current, and which was topped off by his winning the WHL’s player of the year award this spring.
He had 45 goals, 43 assists, 102 penalty minutes and a plus-18 rating for the Broncos in what was his first full year as a centre after moving from left wing. And beginning Friday night against the Providence Bruins at Mile One Centre, he’ll play centre for the IceCaps, having already earned the trust of head coach Keith McCambridge in his short stint in St. John’s last season.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for the last year and a bit,” said the six-foot-five, 205-pound Lowry of the move to the middle.
“It allows me to be more responsible at both ends of the rink and I feel it helps keep me more involved and be more physical. I think it really helps bring out the strengths in my game.”
Those strengths include his obvious size and strength, skating ability and skill. In fact, if not for having to deal with a bout of mononucleosis in his draft year, he might have been selected much higher.
There is also his pedigree. He is the son of Dave Lowry, who played over 1,000 NHL games with Vancouver, St. Louis, San Jose, Florida and Calgary, was an assistant coach of the Flames and is now head coach of the WHL’s Victoria Royals.
“It helped growing up around the game, especially as a young kid seeing things you wouldn’t necessarily see otherwise. It helped develop my hockey sense, to see how professionals prepare on a daily basis and the work ethic they put in,” said Lowry, who can count Jarome Iginla among his family friends.
“It certainly broadened my development.”
As for players he admired during his father’s hockey journey, one of his first was Stu Barnes from his days with Florida. But San Jose’s Patrick Marleau ended up being his favourite.
“Seeing his success, the way he’s improved over his career, coming from a rookie with the Sharks when I first saw him to what he’s still doing today, you’d like to be able follow in the footsteps of someone like that” said Lowry.
Centre Patrice Cormier and defenceman Zach Redmond, assigned to the IceCaps by Winnipeg on Monday, arrived in St. John’s Tuesday night … Rogers Television will have live broadcasts of 29 of the IceCaps’ 38 home games this season and have delayed broadcasts of the remainder. Rogers carried 20 live games last season … Lowry is not Winnipeg’s tallest forward prospect anymore as the Jets have signed six-foot-six Axel Blomqvist to an entry-level deal. Blomqvist, an 18-year old Swede who plays for the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL, was undrafted in June, but attended the Jets prospects camp last month and earned an invitation to Winnipeg’s main camp. Blomqvist will remain with the Hurricanes.