This month’s Alberta Elite Hockey League Alumni Spotlight features Adam Manah, formerly of the Maple Leaf Athletic Club.
A born and raised Edmontonian, Adam’s passion for hockey began at the age of four, after watching his older brother play, and spending time with him on his family’s backyard rink.
After playing his grassroots hockey with Edmonton’s NEZ association, Adam moved on to play U15 AAA and U18 AAA hockey with the Maple Leaf Athletic Club (MLAC), and was named the U18 AAA (then known as the AMHL) Most Sportsmanlike Player award in the 2003-04 season.
Adam looks back on his grassroots days as a vital time in his hockey journey.
“(Grassroots hockey) taught me how to prepare for practices and games on and off the ice, whether it be physical or mental prep,” he said. “It also taught me how to be a good teammate, leader and character person.”
Adam then played four seasons in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, first with the Fort Saskatchewan Traders in 2004-05, and half of the 2005-06 season, before joining the Fort McMurray Oil Barons, helping them capture the 2006 AJHL Championship. He played two more seasons with the Oil Barons from 2007-09.
While Adam has many fond memories of his playing days, two in particular stand out to him.
“Minor Hockey Week was always a fun time of the year when I played minor hockey,” he said. “When I played in the AJHL, it was winning the championship in 2006 with the Oil Barons.”
Following his playing days, Adam has since moved into coaching as a career, and has recently joined his alma-mater Oil Barons as Head Coach and General Manager, after six seasons with the Sherwood Park Crusaders. He also previously served as Head Coach of the Grande Prairie U18 AAA Storm from 2012-15, and twice coached in the Alberta Cup; in 2012 as an Assistant Coach, and in 2013 as a Head Coach.
Adam’s advice for young, aspiring hockey players reflects his mindset as a coach: enjoy the game, and never stop improving.
“Have as much fun as you can, and be dedicated to making yourself better as a player,” he said. “If I learned anything along the way, it was the fact that there are always players putting in the time to improve, so if I wanted to stay ahead of them, I needed to do the same – if not more.”