Get ready to hear this name a lot.
Troy Terry has quickly become the face of USA Hockey’s future, a veteran of international competition who thrives in big-time moments and on big-time stages. The Denver University star is in the midst of his Olympic debut with Team USA, looking to jumpstart the squad and, most importantly, bring back a bit of Olympic hardware.
Here’s everything you need to know about him:
1. Terry Played for Team USA Twice Before PyeongChang
Terry is making his Olympic debut in the 2018 Games, but this is far from the first time he’s competed with Team USA on the ice.
The 6-foot forward also represented the United States in two International Ice Hockey Federation world championships and he’s got fairly high expectations for his third. After all, Terry captured gold medals with the 2015 U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team and the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team.
Although sporting red, white and blue is starting to become a bit of a trend for Terry, the thrill of competing on the international stage hasn’t lessoned.
Terry has played well with Team USA in the past – he racked up four goals and seven points in seven games during the 2017 World Junior Championship.
2. He Made Headlines for His Shootout Performance Against Russia in the 2017 World Junior Championship
Again. And again. And again.
Terry was, quietly, recording a solid performance at the 2017 World Junior Championship, playing on the fourth line, when he suddenly found himself in the national and international spotlight. He scored three shootout goals on three attempts to give the United States a 4-3 victory over Russia in the semifinals of the tournament.
The performance brought back memories of other hockey stars – Jonathan Towes and T.J. Oshie, who both had big-time shootout moments on a big-time international stage. U.S. coach Bob Motzko explained the decision to send Terry out for the fourth, sixth and seven rounds of the shootout, telling NHL. com:
Oshie wouldn’t have done that unless the U.S. coach in the Olympics (Dan Bylsma) kept putting him out there, so that kind of paved the way for a coach saying you could do that, and the one thing about Troy Terry is he just has ice in his veins. His pulse just doesn’t change. So we had five shooters and once he scored, we tried him again and again.
Terry said he didn’t do anything special on the approach, claiming “I got lucky…lucky enough, [the five hole] opened up.” Although he was quick to deflect praise, Terry’s performance didn’t go unnoticed and it’s still a moment that’s become synonymous with his game.
3. Terry Is in His Junior Season at the Denver University
A native of Colorado, Terry grew up watching Denver University hockey games and, per his bio on the athletic website, always hoped to one day compete for the area college. Sometimes, dreams come true.
Terry, currently in the middle of his junior season with the Pioneers, has been a consistent force since joining the roster in 2015-16. He racked up nine points as a freshman, but took his game to the next level his sophomore season, leading the team in scoring with 22 goals and 23 assists in 35 games played.
He was also named to the Named to All-Frozen Four Team after registering four points in wins over Notre Dame and Minnesota-Duluth en route to a national championship.
Terry hasn’t missed a step this season either – named NCAA Third Star of the Week in October 2017 and a 2018 Hobey Baker Award Nominee in January 2018. And while he’ll miss three weeks, and four important games, for Denver while competing in the Olympics, Terry has the full backing of his team.
“If half our team got selected [Denver coach Jim Montgomery would have] said, ‘Just go,'” Terry told the Denver Post. “It’s a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity – which is how he’s relayed it to me – and he’s just been really awesome.
4. He Was Drafted in the Fifth Round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the Anaheim Ducks
Terry saw another dream realized in 2015 when he was selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the fifth round of NHL Entry Draft. It was, of course, a big-time confidence boost, but Terry opted to stay in the college game – at least for now.
Reports surfaced in April 2017, that the Ducks planned to offer him a contract and while Terry did admit conversations had occurred, he was also quick to point out his intentions of coming back to Denver.
“Right now, I’m all set on coming back,” Terry told the Denver Post. “There’s obviously some talks that will happen, but I’m all for coming back and want to continue to be a Pioneer.”
So, far, Terry has made good on his promise, but after a stint with Team USA in PyeongChang and another strong showing in Denver when he returns stateside, the pros may come calling. Again.
5. Terry Credits NHL Hall of Famer Joe Sakic for His Success
Terry didn’t grow up in a hockey household.
Sure, the Colorado native was around the sport and aware of the sport, but his parents had never played and he didn’t really consider lacing up his own skates until, one day, he sat down in front of the TV. It only took a single Colorado Avalanche game for Terry to be hooked and he was on the ice by the time he was eight years old.
Terry was always talented, but it was the support and encouragement of former Avalanche center and Hockey Hall of Famer Joe Sakic that helped take his game to the next level. Sakic’s son played on the same team as Terry and, during the NHL lockout in 2004-05, stepped up to help coach the kid’s squad. Terry described the experience, telling USA Hockey, saying “I was just playing mite hockey. I don’t remember if I was good or not, but Joe told my dad that I had talent and he could see potential.”
There are worse people to have in your metaphorical corner. Sakic played in 1,378 NHL games, racking up 625 goals and 1,016 assists before retiring after the 2008-09 season.