ECHL: Reading Royals: A Talk With Adam Karashik

Coming into professional hockey, undrafted, at the end of your college career is a whirlwind of feelings and shifting gears. For Connecticut native, Adam Karashik, he is no stranger to shifting gears and learning along the way during the grueling schedule of the ECHL and AHL.

College Play

Before coming to the ECHL and AHL, Karashik played for the University of Connecticut and Notre Dame University. In 119 games for the University of Connecticut, Karashik posted 5 goals and 19 assists. He wore the “A” in his junior year, and was named Captain in his senior year. While he played in Notre Dame, he dressed for 40 games and tallied 1 goal and 15 assists.

During Karashik’s college career, he played with players such as Joe Masonius, Solag Bakich, and Maxim Letunov. Karashik speaks on what it was like to play with them:

“It was great. Those guys were older guys I played with in college. They showed me the ropes in college my first couple of years and learned a lot from those guys and they are still friends of mine today.”

Karashik transferred to Notre Dame University after his senior year at the University of Connecticut. He speaks about what Notre Dame means to him and what it was like to play there:

“Notre Dame is a very special place. I like to refer to it kind of as Disney World. There’s just a special thing about it that it’s hard to explain if you’re not there. The culture, the tradition, the family, you really feel like you’re a part of something more than just a sports team there. You’re part of a community.”

During Karashik’s year at Notre Dame, he was named one of three Captains. The other two Captains were Jake Pivonka and Graham Slaggert. Karashik speaks on what it was like to be called Captain and what it was like to be part of such a special group:

“That was an honor. I remember growing up watching Notre Dame with their gold buckets. It was really cool, as a kid, to see. My mom’s side of the family is Irish. When i got to have that title, it said alot about the team because I came in there that year and they accepted me right away. It was a group that I was able to bond with fairly quick. Speaks alot to the type of people they recruit, that they accept someone so quickly like that.”

Playing in the NCAA comes with a different level of play, responsibility, and the ability to manage being an athlete and having coursework. NCAA players work all year long to make it to the tournament. Karashik speaks on what it was like to train with the group of players he played with throughout his NCAA career:

“NCAA tournament is awesome. It’s alot of fun. I definitely think it should be on campus for sure. I know there has been some buzz around that trying to get it on campus arenas. It’s really fun because you’re there all summer at college, training with each other, grinding with the schoolwork and workouts on the ice. When you make that top 16 seed, it’s really special, because with one loss, you’re out, one win you’re in and moving on. You’re really close to a national championship. We really enjoyed it, we lost 1-0 in the elite eight, but that’s a group I always remember.”

By the time Karashik finished his degree at Notre Dame, he ended his college career with a Master of Nonprofit Administration. He speaks on what his biggest accomplishment is outside of hockey:

“Earning my masters degree from Notre Dame. I never thought i was going to have a masters degree. Hockey afforded me that opportunity and I’m super grateful for that and that’s a pretty big achievement.”

Being A Better Player

Coming into professional hockey, lessons are learned and it makes players better. Karashik speaks on what made him a better player and what he does moving forward at every step:

“Taking it day by day, remember to have fun. My family sacrificed so much to pay for me to play growing up and allow for me to do what I love. It has been an unbelievable ride. I try to cherish every moment, every day, every game. I wouldn’t change anything.”

Game Day

Every player has a game-day routine. Some players are strict, and some go with the flow. Karashik speaks on what he does to get his head in the game, before the game:

“I have iced coffee in the morning, breakfast, then I usually make pasta and chicken with a vegetable. Another iced coffee and get to the rink to stretch and warm up. That’s about it.”

When players have a positive in-game mindset, players tend to play to the best of their ability and develop their skills even further. Karashik speaks on what his in-game mindset is when he plays:

“Play by play, shift by shift. Just take care of my body leading up to the game, day before, the week before, whatever it may be. During the games, going shift by shift, not really focusing on the outcome but trying to focus on my job.”

Defending The Game

Every hockey defenseman has that one player, whether the player crosses paths with them in their college career or professional career, that they have had to defend that sticks out in their mind. Karashik talks about what player has stuck out for him:

“I’d say Tanner Laczynski, he is really hard on the puck. When he has the puck in the corner, he doesn’t make it easy for you to get the puck from him or close time and space on him. He is an amazing player and has a really bright future still ahead of him.”

Being a defenseman, players rely on their partners to compliment them during the game. Karashik talks about who he would like to be his partner on the ice:

“My favorite player growing up was Dan Girardi. Just the way he would block shots, hit, and sacrifice his body for the team. He was a captain for the Rangers. I just always looked up to him, so I’d say he’d be the guy i would want to play with.”

Time to play coach: 3-on-3 overtime lineup. Karashik speaks on who he would slot in for his 3-on-3:

“Pavel Datsyuk, Patrick Kane, and then on the back end probably Nicklas Lidström.”

Life Outside Of The Game

Separating the mind from the ice is important for every player to do because of the workload, practices, and time devoted to the sport. Karashik talks about what he does outside of the rink to separate his mind from the ice:

“Just enjoying life, not just a hockey player. There’s a world outside of hockey and try to enjoy time with my family and friends and just be a normal person. There’s a world out there, so I try to explore it.”

Growing up, the dream for players is to play professional hockey. Karashik talks about what he would do if he wasn’t playing professional hockey:

“I know I’ll go into business when I’m done with hockey. As a kid, all i wanted to be was a hockey player, but that’s why I have plan B because of school. When it’s all said and done, explore business and try to grow a career that way.”

During this season, Karashik played 27 games in the AHL and tallied 1 goal with 4 assists, and 2 games in the ECHL with the Reading Royals and notched 1 assist.

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