Vancouver Canucks rookie defenceman Troy Stecher is one of a few bright spots this season.
With everyone healthy at the beginning of the 2016-17 season, it wasn’t surprising to see Troy Stecher sent down to the AHL Utica Comets. But, thanks to the Canucks’ regular injury luck, Stecher quickly became a regular on the Vancouver Canucks‘ blue line. The rookie even formed the top pairing with veteran Alex Edler, and saw plenty of power-play time.
With more than half of the season over, it seems fair to say that Stecher has lived up to the task.
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On a team that struggles to score, Stecher is currently the highest-scoring defenceman with two goals and 16 points in 47 games. And this is just the beginning.
It is hard to deny that Stecher’s size hurts his defensive game. He struggles in board battles and can’t do much to move a guy like Milan Lucic when he is planted in front of the net. Plus, Stecher has had some general defensive struggles every once in a while, which is totally normal for a first-year D-man.
But, what Stecher has been doing offensively is great, and exactly what the Canucks need. An extremely agile blue-liner who can walk the line, distribute passes and get shots through to the net is something every NHL team covets. And over the next years, Stecher should only get better.
Defensively, the 22-year-old has looked promising in his own way. Due to the aforementioned physical deficiencies, Stecher needs to find other ways to succeed, and that is exactly what he is doing.