Sunday Q&A with Troy Stecher
by Don LaibleOct 16, 2016
New this season, every Sunday we'll have a Q&A with a member of the Comets. First up, defenseman Troy Stecher.
Troy Stecher knows the flavor of winning hockey.
Last spring in Tampa, Stecher and his University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks teammates captured the coveted NCAA's Division I national championship.
Beginning his first pro season in Utica, the speedy defenseman is confident time spent with the Comets is a recipe for future NHL success.
Q: Yesterday you made your pro debut, then at night your alma mater was playing RPI at home. Busy day for you?
A: I've been following UND. I watched them raise the national championship banner before their exhibition game with Manitoba.
Q: Are you surprised that UND has begun the season undefeated (4-0)?
A: No, the coaching staff there has a pro mentality. The expectation there is to do well. Brock Boeser (selected in the first round by Vancouver Canucks in 2015 NHL Entry Draft) is the motor of their "school bus". Gage Ausmus, the captain, is only going to be better this year.
Q: Do you have your national championship ring?
A: No. My teammates have theirs. My ring was sent to my mom's home in Surrey (B.C.)
Q: Did you envision your pre-season with the Canucks going so well?
A: As soon as I signed with them (Canucks), my focus was to be in the NHL.
Q: But, three points (goal & two assists) in a win over Edmonton was impressive - no?
A: Three years ago I attended my first Vancouver development camp. In camp this year, I was excited to be there, and I learned a ton.
Q: After being in an NHL camp, you were a late addition to the Comets. Your thoughts on starting the season in the AHL.
A: Hockey has many stepping stones. You can't skip steps. It has taken me six years to get to the pro level. I'm focused, and ready to learn.
Q: When you played junior "A" hockey for the Penticton Vees in B.C. , you skated against Mike Zalewski (Vernon Vipers 2011-12). As teenagers, what was that like?
A: At first, I didn't like him on the ice. He was tough to play against. We talked at development camp (about that season).
Q: The first time you put on a Canucks' jersey during pre-season, were you in awe - even a little bit?
A: During the National Anthem, while I was standing and looking around, that's when I knew that I'm at a different level now. It's business. You can't be starstruck. I was a little nervous.
Q: How do you deal with pressures in hockey?
A: You always feel pressure from within. You do well, and winning becomes addicting. You cherish that. You want recognition.
Q: When you shut off hockey, is there a TV program or movie you go to?
A: I watch Friends. That's my addiction.
Q: You would have been a senior this season at UND. Any regrets leaving early?
A: I'm still working on getting my degree (communications). I'm taking on-line courses.