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Former Kootenay Ice forward Adam Cracknell was on the ice Monday morning, joining returning players as they ran through drills for the first time ahead of training camp.
The 29-year-old native of Prince Albert, Sask. spent four seasons in Cranbrook (2002-03 to 2005-06), tallying 94 goals and 213 points in 283 games with the Ice before graduating to the professional ranks and the Calgary Flames organization.
Cracknell’s wife is from Cranbrook and so Ice camp has been a great warm-up for the forward prior to jetting off to NHL camp.
“Jeff [Chynoweth] is always welcoming. The coaching staff has always let me come out here and skate,” Cracknell said Monday morning in the halls of Western Financial Place. “I think this is probably my 13th [Kootenay Ice] camp now. It’s always nice to come back. This is where it all started.”
Cracknell is now a veteran of eight years at the professional level with 532 games of pro experience, including 375 at the AHL level and 65 games with the NHL’s St. Louis Blues.
After four years in the Blues organization, the forward is moving on to his third NHL club since being drafted by Darryl Sutter and the Calgary Flames in the ninth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. The feisty forward signed a one-year contract with the defending Stanley Cup champions, Sutter’s Los Angeles Kings, on July 1.
“It’s not going to be hard to get in the mix with that team,” Cracknell said. “It’s a big, heavy team that plays solid both ways. The adjustment period will just be going to a city like that where you’re going to get every team’s ‘A’ game every night being the defending [Stanley] Cup champs.
“Whatever role they want me to play, I will happily try to bring it.”
Drafted 279th overall by the Flames in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Cracknell signed with the St. Louis Blues as an unrestricted free agent during the summer of 2009.
The 6-foot-2 energy forward has posted six goals and 16 points in 65 career NHL games.
Los Angeles Kings training camp opens Thursday, Sept. 18.