Profile: Adam Halpern
Halpern, the youngest of five children and the only boy, began playing hockey in his backyard of his childhood home in Duluth. From an early age, Halpern was a talented shot, although he struggled with skating. He took figure skating lessons and ballet with his sisters to improve, even into his teens. Despite this, he still struggled in hockey, often being cut from teams. When he did make a roster, he was often considered a “back up” player and more often than not sat out most games on the bench.
Halpern struggled with the decision to turn pro, expecting that he wouldn’t be drafted even to an NCHL team or a semi-professional league. His coach and mentor Al Jovanovich encouraged him to try his luck. Jovanovich had ties to several IHA scouts and had repeatedly mentioned Halpern to his contacts. Halpern was drafted 131st overall by the Boston Bears and immediately assigned to their NCHL affiliate for additional development.
Halpern spent the next few years bouncing between the NCHL and the big leagues. Although he wasn’t a bona fide IHA star, he performed solidly on the third line for the Bears. His heavy shot was a surprise to most, leading to the Bears’ commentator dubbing him their “secret weapon.”
Halpern was traded after his third season to the St. Paul Saints. The Saints signed him to an entry-level contract. They traded him to the Denver Colts mid-way through the season. Halpern spent the next four and a half seasons with the Colts, developing into a solid performer on the Colts’ second line. He developed a reputation for playmaking, racking up a career-high 84 points and 67 assists during his second season with the Denver squad. He also became one of the league’s most reliable men on the dot, winning an average of 47 percent of the draws he took over three seasons.
Halpern also became a recognized leader in the locker room. During his third season with the Colts, he was named an assistant captain. A broken collar bone ended his third season with the Colts prematurely. He was plagued by injury the following year, and the Colts made the decision not to renew his contract when it expired on July 1. Halpern became an unrestricted free agent. He signed with the Miami Sharks during the off-season.
Halpern struggled to fit in with the Sharks and frequently clashed with the coaching staff. He was demoted to the third line and often benched. His production declined. Staffing changes made during the offseason following one of the Sharks’ more dismal performances led Halpern to sign an extension with them for an additional year. Unfortunately, he didn’t fit with the new front office staff’s vision for the team. He was sent down to the NCHL in late February.
Once again a UFA, Halpern signed a two-year agreement with the LA Knights, who were looking for support down the middle for their superstar winger, Mason Green. Although Halpern remained a solid performer, he was nevertheless demoted to the second line. The Knights remained on the hunt for a first-line center. Despite this, they cited Halpern as one of their star players and a significant contributor to goal production when they resigned him on a two-year deal prior to free agency. He negotiated a third contract with the team for an additional season.
In February 2016, the Knights made it clear they had no intent to resign Halpern when his contract expired in the summer. They were unable to move him prior to the trade deadline, although they had been shopping him around to other teams. Halpern signed with the Pittsburgh Rockets on the first day of free agency.
Halpern married long-time girlfriend Miranda in August 2008. The couple welcomed a daughter the following year, and another daughter in 2011. Halpern generally takes care of the children, as his wife works as a tax lawyer. Halpern has said if he had to retire immediately, he would have no qualms—he enjoys being a stay-at-home father.
Halpern has four sisters: Alexa, Andrea, Adrianna, and Alison. Alexa and Andrea both studied figure skating and ballet. Alexa went on to ballet school in New York; Andrea represented the US at the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Awards and Honors
- -IHA Player of the Week (x7)
- -All-Star Game nomination (x1)
- -All-Star Game (x1)