Troy Terry began the 2019-2020 season on fire. Playing mostly on a line centered by Adam Henrique and with Max Jones on the left wing, the trio dominated shot share. This line lasted until Isac Lundestrom was sent down to San Diego. After a brief trial on a line with Ryan Getzlaf, Terry has settled into a standard right wing slot with Sam Steel. It’s been a bit of a tough go.
Terry’s production has mostly suffered as a result. In the NHL, the quality of linemates matters, and in Terry’s case, playing with less talented linemates has allowed other teams to make him a focal point in their defending.
Managing Editor CJ Wooding began the week by exploring what it means to be a Anaheim Ducks fan in a retooling era. Process becomes more important that results, and part of that process is to develop the teams prospects.
There is talent there, as evidenced by the deep run that the Gulls made in the Calder Cup playoffs last season. The heart and soul (and coach) of that team is now with the big club, but what can the team’s prospects contribute to this season, and what potential do they have over their next few years?
First up in what should be a continuing series is Troy Terry.
Terry was a 2015 fifth round draft choice of the Ducks out of the US Development Program. He played three seasons of college hockey with the Denver Pioneers, where he won the national championship in 2016-2017 season. After signing his entry level contract, he spent last year splitting time between San Diego and Anaheim and has now settled into a regular spot with the NHL club.
At the end of the year, Terry will be a restricted free agent, but without arbitration rights and, due to his limited time as a professional, is not eligible for an offer sheet.
At 6’0”, 180 pounds, Terry isn’t large, but he is a good skater with above average hands. In general hockey parlance, he would be considered a skilled winger.
In the offensive zone, Terry is composed with the puck on his stick. Here, he takes the puck off the half wall and stickhandles for a quality scoring chance against the San Jose Sharks.
Part of Terry’s NHL learning curve is going to be learning how to maintain his composure and puck protection against NHL level defenders. In particular, he tends to rely on stick moves and doesn’t use his body to protect the puck. Here, Terry attempts a stick only move on John Klingberg and gets his pocket picked for a chance going the opposite direction.
Since moving to the Steel line, Terry has been the primary play driver on that third line. That has made him more of a focus of active defending, and when Terry doesn’t protect the puck, it leads to turnovers and less offensive zone time.
Terry also plays on the half wall on the Ducks power play. In this position, Terry’s patience with the puck and his creativity help create a consistent setup, and his stick handling opens up gaps in the defense. Here, Terry opens up a Royal Road scoring opportunity against the Calgary Flames.
Terry doesn’t spend much time driving to the net, and he doesn’t particularly excel in one-on-one puck battles, but those aren’t really skill sets that you’d expect a puck handling sniper to have in full.
In the defensive zone, Terry is positionally sound. He makes his stick available on the wall for clearance from behind the net and he patrols the center crease area when the puck is on his weak side.
That said, his defending is more reactive than it is natural and instinctual, which means that he doesn’t always pick up weak side cutters, he misses opportunities to take away free sticks, and he can get on the wrong side of the puck in one on one battles. Here, Michael Frolic wins a board battle, and then heads to the net with Terry still standing at the boards.
Troy Terry has less than 100 games of professional hockey experience. In that time, he’s shown that he can be a contributor at the NHL level. On a line with other prospects, he’s a bit out of his depth. On a line with veteran talent, he’s an inexpensive piece of the puzzle.
On a deeper team; one that wasn’t in the process of retooling, Terry would likely find himself with a bit more seasoning at the AHL level. With the Ducks in their current state, he finds himself in a role where his contributions matter.
Terry passes the eye test, and his analytics are also positive.
The Ducks prospects are going to be the deciding factor on where the team ends up in the standings. If they continue to grow into their games (and assuming that injuries don’t absolutely decimate the team), there is enough talent out there for a run to the playoffs. Especially with John Gibson in net.
At ice level, it’s going to be nerve-wracking, but entertaining.