Gilmour's Journey A Family Affair
Adam Gilmour’s path to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, where the Minnesota Wild made him its fourth-round (98th overall) pick, might’ve been atypical compared to other prospects there. However, every step along the way of his budding hockey career has been helped by two traits common among many young players: an insatiable appetite to improve and the devotion of his parents.
Gilmour’s father, Dave, enrolled him into the hockey program in Saratoga, N.Y., because many of his friends were also getting into the sport. Despite having never played the game himself, Dave, would coach Adam during his formative years. The father immersed himself in the game along with his son.
“We would go to Adirondack Red Wings games, watching future NHLers,” Adam Gilmour said. “(My dad) was really good at paying attention to details of the game.
“We both learned together, the more I played the more knowledge he’d gain.”
At five, the family moved to Duluth, not the State of Hockey staple, but a suburb of Atlanta. Quickly, the Gilmour’s observed the reason that Georgia is known for peaches and hot weather, not hockey and ice. To keep his son active in the game, Dave Gilmour had to essentially build a hockey program.
“We didn’t have a lot lot of players to start, maybe eight or 10 kids at first,” Gilmour remembered. “There were a lot of first timers.
“But as the passion for the game grew, so did the program.”
As luck would have it, it just so happened that the family’s move to Georgia coincided with the inaugural season of the Atlanta Thrashers. The program got a boost from incoming Thrashers players, who would often come to practice and lend a helping hand to the miniscule southern hockey community.
As the Thrashers gained popularity in Atlanta, so did hockey in the region. Still, Gilmour’s team embarked on long road trips or played older teams for better competition.
That would all change when the forward reached the age of 11.
The Gilmour’s would again move, this time to Hanover, Mass., an area much more comfortable with the sport. Here, a young hockey fanatic like himself could flourish.
“It was very different,” Gilmour said. “Boston has a ton of hockey history and it was great to be around people with the same passion.”
That passion would extend to all levels, similar to Minnesota.
“It was great to absorb all different kinds of hockey, from the NHL and college hockey to the high school level,” Gilmour said.
Along with playing hockey, Gilmour’s mother, Cathy, knew that it was important to balance athletics with a quality education. In seventh grade, Gilmour enrolled in Thayer Academy, a prep school in Braintree, Mass. He would then transfer to The Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, Mass., in 10th grade.
“She always pushed me to keep my grades up in high school, because for college, that’s when it really matters,” Gilmour said.
At Nobels, Gilmour caught the eye of legendary college hockey coach Jerry York, of Boston College. The 18-year-old committed to BC and plans on attending the school in the fall of 2013.
“I wanted to go to college because my parents always said it’s the most important thing,” Gilmour said. “Hockey can open a lot of doors and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
Last year as junior, the forward led Noble and Greenough in scoring with 56 points (26-30=56) in 26 games and to a 23-5-1 record. The Bulldogs reached the New England prep championship game, losing to Lawrence Academy, 3-2.
Heading into his senior year of high school, the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the United States Hockey League (USHL) made Gilmour the second-overall pick in the 2012 USHL Draft. Deciding to leave the comfortable surroundings of Nobles and the East Coast wasn’t easy.
“It was a really hard decision,” Gilmour said. “I had loyalty to the coach (Brian Day), and at Nobles.”
But in the end, like many of his decisions, it involved his family and hockey. The 6-foot-2, 193-pound forward visited Muskegon with his father and met his billet family before committing to play for the Lumberjacks.
“I didn’t want to leave Nobles if I was going to be uncomfortable, but I don’t think it could’ve been a better fit,” Gilmour said.
A senior at Mona Shores High School, he is adjusting to the larger class sizes of public school along with the rigors of the USHL. He and fellow Lumberjacks that are still in high school start classes at 7:40 a.m. and get out at 1:30 p.m. From there, they practice from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. On Monday’s and Wednesday’s the team has an additional off ice work out lasting about an hour after practice, leaving the players pretty wiped. But like many of his moves to this point, the effort has been worthwhile.
“It’s a league that gets you read for college or the pros,” Gilmour said. “(I came to Muskegon) because it would be better for my development as a player.”