It's every young athlete's dream to play for the team he or she grew up rooting for.
For Adam Fox, that dream has become reality.
The 21-year-old defenseman signed with the Rangers this offseason after three years at Harvard, and his new boss has big things in mind for him.
"We think Adam is ready to play now," Rangers GM Jeff Gorton said, according to the New York Post. "We wanted him here and we didn't want to wait. We want to get moving."
It's not hard to see why Gorton desired a player like Fox so badly.
Fox is a right-handed defenseman, which are coveted at the NHL level. He stood out offensively at Harvard, peaking at a stellar 48 points in just 33 games last season. He took more shots than any player on the Crimson, and his plus-23 rating was 10 better than the second-highest player on the team.
The NCAA is known for producing good two-way defenders -- think Duncan Keith and Cale Makar -- but there was something different about Fox. He was a Hobey Baker Award finalist last season and has represented Team USA in each of the last four years in international competition.
As coveted a player as Fox has become, he has bounced around the league as a prospect. The Calgary Flames drafted him in 2016 before his freshman season, but he did not sign right away. They traded him to the Carolina Hurricanes two seasons ago, but didn't find room on their stacked, young blue line.
Besides, there was only one place that the Jericho, New York, native really wanted to play.
Sure, the Rangers were his favorite team growing up, but Fox thinks he's joining the Rangers at the right stage in their rebuilding process.
"If you're on a team with a 'win-now' mentality, maybe for a younger player, you're not allowed to make as many mistakes as you could on a team that's rebuilding,'' Fox told Newsday.
For a team that is focusing on a youth movement, Fox could play a very large role for the Rangers right out of the gate.
Kevin Shattenkirk and Brendan Smith are the Rangers' top two right-side defensemen, but both are rumored to be on the trade block. Anthony DeAngelo and Neal Pionk are also right-handed, but they have been inconsistent, and both are restricted free agents.
There is a realistic scenario in which Fox is playing meaningful minutes next to Brady Skjei or Marc Staal right from the jump for the Blueshirts. In fact, Fox already played with Skjei (and Rangers forward Chris Kreider) for Team USA at this year's World Championships.
Giving rookie D-men big minutes is not unheard of in today's game; young defenders like Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug, Ivan Provorov, John Klingberg and Rasmus Dahlin have been thrown into the deep end during their first pro years and thrived.
Fox could end up being a better version of what the Rangers thought Shattenkirk might be: a right-handed power-play quarterback. Although Fox is a little undersized at 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, his speed and instincts project well in the modern NHL's up-tempo pace of play.
Every other Rangers defenseman stands at least 5-foot-11, and all of them except DeAngelo weigh over 200 pounds, so it's not like the Rangers are lacking size on the blue line. They could use a nimble, exciting defender who takes chances in the offensive zone to contrast with the rest of their size.
The Rangers will likely play it cautious with Fox early on, but he has one of the highest ceilings of any of the Rangers' defensive prospects. Fox will be afforded a chance to play on a young team and will also be given a chance to make mistakes without the fear of being immediately benched.
"Good things are happening," Gorton said in April, according to The Athletic. "It's an exciting time to be a Ranger and a Rangers fan. We can never have too many good players and today we're adding a good player."