In a matter of months, Adam Parsells’ life turned upside down.
“I went from a kid who had everything to a kid who had nothing,” said Parsells, a sophomore with UW-Eau Claire hockey.
The 6-foot-5 defenseman, was on the path young elite hockey players train all their lives for. After a strong career at Wausau West and with Team Wisconsin he left home for the United States Hockey League, where he was able to play close to home with the Green Bay Gamblers.
He was set to live a lifelong dream of playing at the University of Wisconsin after the Badgers made him an offer. In June of 2015 he lived another dream when he was selected in the sixth round of the NHL Draft by the San Jose Sharks.
Then 2016 came, and piece by piece the perfect picture started crumbling. It’s taken a long time for him to get back close to where he was before.
“It was a big shock to my system,” Parsells said. “I just kind of went off the deep end a little bit and had to pick myself back up.”
His hellish year began when he lost his mother, Shelly. A hardworking nurse, she fought cancer for 14 years, for pretty much as long as he could remember. Her name is tattooed in cursive on his left forearm along with the year of her birth and death.