Time with Gulls Does World of Good for Ducks Rookie TerryJan 25, 2019
By Kyle Shohara / AnaheimDucks.com
There was a time earlier this season when Troy Terry lost his way. He was searching for offense that just wasn't there, and in doing so, it affected his game. As a standout player with the University of Denver, he wanted so badly to be that guy with the Ducks. It wasn't happening, and it was taking its toll.
The month of October was a big one for the 21-year-old Denver, Colorado native. He made the team out of training camp and was in the lineup for the season opener on Oct. 3 in San Jose. He logged strong minutes that night, finishing with 15:35 TOI and 21 shifts. He scored his first career game-deciding goal in a shootout to help the Ducks to a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 8, but was still searching for his first career NHL point through the first two weeks of the season as he played up and down the lineup. After serving as a healthy scratch on Oct. 13 in Dallas, Terry played twice more before he was assigned to the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League. The move ended up being a blessing.
It was there where Terry found his game again. He set a club record by recording a point in each of his first 11 games to begin his AHL career (16 points, 7g/9a), and then posted a nine-game point streak (12 points, 4g/8a) from Dec. 8-30. At the moment, Terry is still the only player in the AHL to have multiple point streaks of nine games or more this season. In addition, his four-game goal streak from Nov. 9-21 is the longest streak by a Gulls rookie in franchise history. On Jan. 3, Terry was named to the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield, taking place in Springfield, Mass. from Jan. 27-28. Terry will make his first career All-Star appearance, and be part of a Pacific Division roster that is composed of seven forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders.
His consistent performance with the Gulls earned him a call-up to the big club (with fellow rookie Max Jones) on Jan. 16, the day before the Ducks were set to face the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. At the time of his recall, Terry had points in 13 of his last 15 games (22 points, 8g/14a) and had at least one point in 26 of his 32 AHL games.
He and Jones skated alongside Derek Grant in Minnesota, and the trio developed instant chemistry. Terry is a confident player this time around, and it shows. After a recent practice at THE RINKS - Anaheim ICE, Terry took a few minutes to describe the hardships he endured during October and the process in which he regained his confidence.
"As a forward who is expected to produce, I was coming into a new level," Terry said, on making the jump to the NHL. "If I would've scored early on when I was up here, I would've felt a little better about myself. That's just the way it went. I wasn't able to score. I was starting to get frustrated and I was losing my confidence. I thought I was doing the right things, but I wasn't getting rewarded for it."
Terry admits he started "overthinking everything" when he wasn't producing offense. "I was scared to get sent down," he said. "I wanted to make it right away and be this guy who I was in college." [Terry was nominated as a candidate for the 2018 Hobey Baker Award, presented to a college player "who best demonstrates strength of character both on and off the ice, contributes to the integrity of his team and displays outstanding skills in all phases of the game."]
"When it wasn't happening, it was getting hard on me," Terry said. "It got to the point where I wasn't demanding the puck. I was scared to get it because I didn't want to make a mistake. I didn't want to mess up. Especially the way I play, you can't play scared to make mistakes and play scared with the puck. That was something I was able to get back in my game down there [in San Diego]."
It was at that time when he knew a stint in the AHL could do a world of good. "I needed to step away, still play with the puck a lot and get a lot of minutes, and still try all the same things," he said. "I was lucky enough to have a big first week when I went down there. That just totally changed things. I kept it going from there. The whole time I was down there, I just kept building confidence and I was excited to get another chance. To be back here, I have a lot more confidence."
His milestone moment came on Jan. 19 in a game against the New Jersey Devils. After receiving a pass at the right faceoff dot, Terry curled into a shooting lane and fired a blistering wrist shot that sailed past Devils goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood at the 10:38 mark of the first period to give the Ducks a 2-1 lead. It was a well-deserved goal for young Terry, who says he received a ton of texts messages and phones calls congratulating him on the achievement.
"Coming from Colorado, I have a lot of people that follow me," Terry said. "There aren't a lot of hockey players that make it from there. I got a ton of support from people who were watching the game. I was getting texts from people when I got called up saying they were excited for me. I think I earned this opportunity more than the last time. I really had to play a pro-hockey style, so everyone knew what I went through. To come up and score and have all those people supporting me, it's still cool. I still get goosebumps thinking about it."