While there won’t be any NHL players at the Olympics for the second consecutive time, the St. Louis Blues will still essentially be represented as former winger Adam Cracknell who was with the team from 2010-2014 and then had a second short stint with the Blues in 2015 will don the Maple Leaf on his chest for Canada at the upcoming Olympics.
A Young Adam Cracknell
The 36-year-old native of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, played his junior hockey with the Kootenay, now Winnipeg Ice from ’02-’06, and during his second season with the Ice he was selected in the 9th round, which doesn’t even exist anymore, of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, 279th overall by the Calgary Flames.
Cracknell and the Ice would win the Western Hockey League regular-season championship in the ’04-’05 season. Then the following season, Cracknell led the team in goals (42) assists, (51), and points (93); he also finished second in the WHL in total points and was named to the WHL West Second All-Star Team.
Adam Cracknell Turns Pro
After turning pro following the ’05-’06 season, Cracknell would spend the next three years in the Flames’ minor league system bouncing between the Las Vegas Wranglers of the East Coast Hockey League and the Quad City Flames, Calgary’s American Hockey League affiliate at the time.
Then on July 16th, 2009, Cracknell signed a one-year contract with the Blues. He spent the majority of the next two seasons playing for the Blues then AHL affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen before getting the call to the big club on March 1st, 2011. Twelve days later, he scored his first NHL goal in a game against the Detroit Red Wings.
Cracknell spent the next three years going between the Blues and Rivermen before signing a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Kings on July 1st, 2014. However, he failed to impress the Kings brass during training camp, was placed on waivers, and was claimed by the Columbus Blue Jackets. He appeared in 17 games for the Blue Jackets and 18 games for their AHL affiliate. The Springfield Falcons would later change their name to the Thunderbirds and become the Blues affiliate.
Return To The Blues
After a year away from the team Cracknell was reacquired by the Blues from the Blue Jackets for “future considerations” on February 26th, 2015. However, following his acquisition, he would spend the rest of the year in the minors with the Chicago Wolves.
On August 25th, 2015, Cracknell signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Vancouver Canucks. He was expected to begin the season with the Utica Comets but instead impressed in training camp and earned a spot on the Canucks opening night roster. He would play a career-high 44 games with Vancouver before being placed on waivers and claimed by the Edmonton Oilers on February 26th, 2016.
On the Road Again
Just a little over five months later, Cracknell was on the move again, this time to the Dallas Stars. In his first game with the team, he had two points with a goal and assist. On March 26th, 2017, he recorded his first career hat trick in a 6-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks.
After playing a single game with the Stars at the beginning of the ’17-’18 season Cracknell was placed on waivers by the Stars and would be claimed by the New York Rangers on October 9th, 2017. He played four games for the Rangers before being placed on waivers on October 24th and being assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack.
After 15 games with the Wolf Pack, Cracknell was on the move again after being traded to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Peter Holland. It was like groundhog day for Cracknell, another team, another AHL assignment as immediately after his acquisition he was assigned to the Laval Rocket where he put up 48 points in 52 games played.
On July 1st, 2018, Cracknell signed a one-year, $650,000 contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs where he would appear in 14 games with the Toronto Marlies before being traded to the Anaheim Ducks on December 10th, 2018, for Steven Oleksy.
Adam Cracknell Heads Overseas
After going through 11 teams in 13 years, Cracknell decided to try his hand with the KHL and signed a one-year contract with Kunlun Red Star on July 4th, 2019. However, he would only stick around for one season before returning to the National Hockey League.
On September 10th, 2020, he returned to North America for his second stint with the Oilers, signing a one-year, two-way contract but was assigned to his current team, the Bakersfield Condors for the pandemic delayed 2020-’21 season. He appeared in all 39 games for the Condors, posting 30 points which ranked third on the team in scoring. He would also play a pivotal role in Bakersfield winning the Pacific Division title as he led the team with 10 points in six postseason games.
After his playoff success, he decided to remain in the Oilers organization and signed a one-year AHL contract with the Condors for this season.
Despite all of the ups and downs throughout his 14-year career, Cracknell received one of the highest honors in a hockey player’s career when he was named to Hockey Canada’s final roster last week for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics proving that perseverance pays off.
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