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Prospect Update: Troy Terry
By Thomas Harrington
No prospect in Anaheim’s system has moved up the ranks as much as Troy Terry has over the last two seasons. This past season saw the former fifth-round pick finish his college career, play for Team USA at the Olympics, and make his NHL debut.
Terry started the season out at the University of Denver. As a junior, he was one of his team’s alternate captains for the first time in his career. Overall, Terry played in 39 games for Denver and scored 14 goals, 34 assists, and 48 points. The 34 assists and 48 points were both career highs for him. He led Denver in assists and was second on the team in points. Overall, Terry played in 115 NCAA games and scored 45 goals and 115 points. After winning the NCAA Championship as a sophomore, a repeat was on Terry’s mind this year. Unfortunately, that was not to be. Still, Denver did make it to the Quarterfinals, and Terry had another strong tournament.
Terry’s college season was interrupted by a trip to the Olympics. When the NHL made the decision to not send their players, countries had to look a little harder to find players to fill out their roster. Team USA looked around and decided on a mix of veterans and up-and-coming stars, with Terry among them. Terry played in all five games for Team USA and recorded five assists. Even though it wasn’t against the highest level of competition, averaging a point-per-game at the Olympics is a pretty impressive feat. Terry’s five assists led Team USA, and his five points were second only to Ryan Donato’s six. Overall, his five assists were tied for fifth in tournament scoring. Safe to say that this tournament was a great learning experience for the young forward.
When Terry’s college season ended, the decision was quickly made that he would turn pro. He signed an entry-level deal with the Ducks and made his NHL debut on March 27th against the Vancouver Canucks. He played twelve and a half minutes, recorded no points, and registered two shots on goal. Terry played one more game to end the season, on April 7th against Arizona. He only played about eight minutes in this game and had a lone shot on goal with no points. While it wasn’t exactly an amazing debut, Terry looked dangerous with the puck a few times while playing sheltered minutes. Given that the Ducks were fighting for their playoff lives, it’s not surprising that he was used so little down the stretch. Terry did not play in any games in the playoffs.
Given how strong Terry’s sophomore season was, I didn’t want to set my expectations too high for his junior year, but I did want to see him improve. My first goal was for him to stay healthy, given that he had missed some time the year before, which he was able to do. Second, to remain one of his team’s most dangerous players, something that he was certainly able to accomplish. Finally, I wanted him to grow his defensive game. While Terry will likely never be a Selke candidate, his two-way game has improved every year that he’s been in college. So, safe to say that he met all the expectations that I had for him a year ago. Terry then surpassed them, first by playing at the Olympics and having a very strong tournament, and then by signing his first pro contract and making his NHL debut.
This coming season, I expect to see Terry in both the NHL and AHL. When he’s with San Diego, he needs to be one of their top scorers. When he’s in Anaheim, he just needs to play and learn from his mistakes. As a young player coming out of college, he’s going to make them. Also, he’s going to be playing significantly more hockey than he’s used to. He’s averaged just under 40 games over his three seasons of college hockey. The grind of professional hockey can take some adjustment, and he’ll hit a wall at some point, certainly in the NHL, and quite possibly in the AHL too. When this does happen, he just needs to go back on the ice and work hard to get through it.
In terms of his NHL future, Terry is knocking on the door. He could become a full-time NHL player as early as this season, or he could bounce between the NHL and AHL this season, before hopefully establishing himself a year from now. Terry’s definitely one of several young forwards who can make an impact in Anaheim this year. However, Terry primarily plays right wing, which could make it difficult for him to get playing time in Anaheim. The Ducks already have Corey Perry, Jakob Silfverberg, Ondrej Kase, and Patrick Eaves playing right wing. The Ducks also added two new right-wingers in the offseason in Anton Rodin and Carter Rowney. So he’s going to face a lot of competition for playing time in Anaheim. However, I do believe that if he’s good enough, he’ll be with the Ducks. Also, he can play some center, and it’s certainly not unheard of for wingers to play on their off side so he may have a better chance at playing time in one of those two positions. All that being said, the Ducks may feel that he’s better served getting prime minutes in San Diego at times this season to help his development along. Personally, I think he’ll play for both rosters at various points this season.
Terry has two more years left on his entry-level deal, and I have no doubt that he’ll be re-signed when it’s up. While it’s hard to say exactly what kind of contract he’ll get, I think he’s got a strong chance at signing a one-way deal on his second contract. Probably not a long-term one, but I do think he’ll have shown that he belongs in the NHL.
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August 31st, 2018