Oct 11, 2016
Troy Stecher is familiar with Travis Green.
Stecher has known the Utica Comets head coach since the defenseman was 14 and Green selected him as seventh-round bantam draft pick for the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks.
Now, Stecher and Green have been reunited. The defenseman was assigned to the Utica Comets this week after an extended look with the Vancouver Canucks during the preseason. Stecher also was on the Canucks’ Young Stars team in September that Green coached.
“I’m obviously excited,” Stecher said. “He’s never really been my coach because I decided to go the college route. He’s someone I’ve wanted to play for. I’ve obviously heard great things about him. I think, likewise, he’s wanted to coach me as a player. I’m finally getting that opportunity. Hopefully, we can form a strong bond right away and he can trust me as a player. Obviously, I already trust him as a coach, so I’m looking forward to it.”
The 22-year-old Stecher drew praise from Canucks officials after a strong preseason that included an impressive performance Sept. 28 against Edmonton when he scored and added two assists.
“Hopefully, he can step in and be a good player in this league,” Green said.
Stecher signed with the Canucks in April after winning a national title with the University of North Dakota in his junior season. He said he’s had to adjust to the pro level, but learned a lot from Canucks coaches and players. He said he thought he made a good impression and had chance of staying with Vancouver to start the season. While his goal is to play in the National Hockey League, he’s looking forward to playing with the Comets.
“Right now my focus is on helping the Comets win,” Stecher said. “I’m going to show up, work hard and try to be a factor every single night.”
Stecher, who is listed at 5-foot-8 and 190 pounds, said he’s described as an offensive defenseman. But, he said he plays a strong two-game and tries to compete hard in the defensive end.
“I’m not the biggest guy, but I’ve got some fight to me,” said Stecher, who had eight goals and 21 assists in 43 games with North Dakota. “I kind of play with a chip on my shoulder; I think I have to, with my stature. … I’m not going to be flashiest guy out there, but I’m going to contribute however I can.”
Source: Stecher ready to help Comets