Manitoban climbs the NHL Draft rankings after switching to the USHL



Adam Ingram is not a bettor, but four months ago he took a small risk.

He moved 2,000 miles from home to play in the USHL. There were no guarantees for the kid from West St. Paul.

“The big reason for coming down here was that I was not so sure if COVID would still be a factor at home,” Ingram said by phone Thursday afternoon. “I mean, it turned out that it has not been, but I would not take that risk again and miss another year of hockey.”

The rookie left has quickly reaped the benefits of challenging itself at a higher level.



<p>Scott Galvin Photography</p>
<p>Adam Ingram has torn USHL to pieces as a member of the Youngstown Phantoms. “Width =” 2048 “height =” 1366 “srcset =” https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/400*400/NEP108523_web_20211126-YoungstownPhantoms_086.jpg 400w, https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/600*600/NEP108523_web_20211126-YoungstownPhantoms_086.jpg 600w, https: //media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/700*700/NEP108523_web_20211126-YoungstownPhants_phoms 700 media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/800*800/NEP108523_web_20211126-YoungstownPhantoms_086.jpg 800w, https: //media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/900*900/NEP108523_web_20211126-YoungstownPhantoms_wress.0p.jp. com / images / 1000 * 1000 / NEP108523_web_20211126-YoungstownPhantoms_086.jpg 1000w”/><figcaption>
<p>Scott Galvin photography</p>
<p>Adam Ingram has torn the USHL to pieces as a member of the Youngstown Phantoms.</p>
</figcaption></figure>
<p>After only playing eight games with the Selkirk Steelers in a pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season, he has torn up the USHL as a member of the Youngstown Phantoms.  He is currently ninth in league scoring, leading the Phantoms and all league rookies in goals (16) and points (35) in 26 games.			</p>
<p>On Wednesday, NHL Central Scouting named him the 14th best prospect among North American skaters in its mid-season report.			</p>
<p>“The USHL is a tough league to collect points on and he’s come in and he’s getting better and better,” said Dan Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting.  “When you see him, it’s just the way he carries himself on the ice. It’s remarkable the confidence and balance and presence he has when he has the puck. He has good instincts for the net and a good finish. And he is a good playmaker. ”			</p>
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“The big reason for coming down here was that I was not so sure if COVID would still be a factor at home.” – Adam Ingram

Due to a late birthday he turned 18 on October 14, Ingram’s eligibility for the draft had been pushed back to 2022. He has taken advantage of the delay by growing taller and getting stronger.

He is now 6-2 1/2, weighs 170 pounds and is still growing. Expected as a possible choice in the third or fourth round in September, he appears to be a likely first-time player now.

Ingram, Marr said, shows an eerily similar skill as former Phantoms standout Kyle Connor, now with the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets.

“At the same age, (he) has the same presence on the ice, the same offensive instincts and contributions in the game,” Marr said. “I see a lot of similarities, but how he develops going forward, we’ll wait and see, but I’m just saying he’s the same height and the same weight at the same age.”

“When you see him, it’s just the way he carries himself on the ice. It’s remarkable the confidence and balance and presence he has when he has the puck. He has good instincts for the net and a good finish. And he is a good playmaker. ” – Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting

Ingram said the improvements are all part of the plan.

“I would definitely say that my sense of hockey and even my skating has gotten a lot better – and my shot,” said Ingram, son of the highly respected golf coach Derek Ingram. “I’ve worked with Riley Dudar (at Evolution Hockey) and he’s been incredible. We work a lot together this summer, and this summer saw some big steps forward.”

Truth be told, Phantom head coach Brad Patterson had modest expectations before Ingram arrived in town.

The club had selected him in the 11th round of the 2021 USHL Entry Draft – and threw a wide net. Ingram had only played eight games, scoring two goals and seven points, with MJHL’s Steelers during the pandemic shortening the 2020-21 season.

“We talk to these (scouts) on a daily basis, whether it’s from Central Scouting or NHL clubs. They show up a little more often – they don’t catch every third game, they catch every game.” – Phantom’s head coach Brad Patterson

Consequently, the video recording of Ingram’s work on the ice was small.

“I thought he was good, probably a guy we would see for two years and then go to college as a really good player after year 2,” Patterson said.

“He came into our training camp – and we probably have 160, 170 kids coming in from all over the world – and showed instant great mobility, great scoring, great with the puck, good separation speed – all the things you are looking for in a player to take that leap to our league. He certainly had. ”

A point-per-game player with the Winnipeg AAA U18 Thrashers in 2019-20, Ingram was undrafted by the WHL but was protected by the Red Deer Rebels.

Last summer, he decided to go the NCAA route and committed to St. Louis. Cloud State University.



<p>Scott Galvin Photography</p>
<p>Ingram believes his sense of hockey, skating and shooting have improved.  “width =” 2048 “height =” 1366 “srcset =” https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/400*400/NEP108523_web_20211126-YoungstownPhantoms_160.jpg 400w, https: //media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/600 * 600 / NEP108523_web_20211126-YoungstownPhantoms_160.jpg 600w, https: //media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/700*700/NEP108523_web_20211126-YoungstownPhantoms_160.jpg 700w, https: //media.winnipeg20112_11611 -YoungstownPhantoms_160.jpg 800w, https: //media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/900*900/NEP108523_web_20211126-YoungstownPhantoms_160.jpg 900w, https: //media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/1000*1000/NEP1011_PH_101 1000w”/><figcaption>
<p>Scott Galvin photography</p>
<p>Ingram believes his sense of hockey, skating and shooting have improved. </p>
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<p>In Youngstown, he has played in line with center Jaden Grant and right-wing Kyle Bettens, a colleague from Manitoban, and his reputation has grown.  The same goes for the number of NHL scouts watching the matches.			</p>
<p>That success could translate into just one season in the USHL before going to college.			</p>
<p>“We talk to these (scouts) on a daily basis, whether it’s from Central Scouting or NHL clubs,” Patterson said.  “They show up a little more often – they don’t catch every third game, they catch every game.”			</p>
<p>Ingram, who finished second in the Manitoba Junior Men’s Golf Championship last summer, plans to ease his passion out of season.			</p>
<p>“It got a little to the point where I had to choose between golf and hockey, and that’s hockey, of course,” he said.  “I still want to play golf in the summer for fun. I want to play in a few tournaments for fun, but I do not want to take it as seriously as I have done in the past.”			</p>
<p>mike.sawatzky@winnipegfreepress.mb.ca			</p>
<p>Twitter: @ sawa14			</p>
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