On Sunday, after practice, he toyed with the idea of maybe going to a movie, but it was just a thought. The 21-year-old rookie defenseman from Jericho is still figuring out this whole being-a-professional-hockey-player thing, after all. For now, it’s all just a kind of adventure.
On the ice, Fox has received more playing time in each successive game, and through three games, he’s averaging 15:22. He hasn’t registered a goal or an assist yet but is a plus-2.
Fox partnered with fellow 21-year-old rookie Libor Hajek in the first game and spent the last two next to Brady Skjei, who has been schooling him on the differences between college hockey and the NHL.
Off the ice, Fox is living in a hotel in the city until the Rangers give him the go-ahead to find an apartment. They usually keep rookies in a hotel for the first month or so until they’re confident they will be sticking with the team for a while.
Fox, Hajek and second-year goaltender Alexandar Georgiev are in the hotel. Fellow 21-year-olds Lias Andersson and Brett Howden, both second-year pros, also are around, which Fox said is helpful in his adjustment to the pro lifestyle.
Fox, who left Harvard after his junior season and signed with the Rangers during the summer, has his family nearby — his parents are in Jericho and his brother lives in the city — so he has seen them a lot. But with no classes to attend, no papers to write and no homework to do, Fox has plenty of time to explore all the things the city has to offer.
“I sometimes walk around, maybe go to some stores or grab dinner with some of the guys,’’ he said. “For me, I just try and relax. It’s going to start becoming a bit of a grind when you’re playing a lot of games in a month, so I just try and maintain my body. Nothing too elaborate going on.’’
The Rangers’ light early schedule — they have only three games in the season’s first 14 days — has mostly been annoying, but Fox said the practice time may have helped ease his transition to professional hockey.
“I really don’t have anything to reference it on, so I don’t know if playing a lot of games quick would have been [better],'' he said. “But I think it’s been good for me to maybe play a game, learn some stuff, practice it, and try and do that.
“But at the end of the day, you want to do well in the games, and you want to play more games.”