Highlands Ranch native Troy Terry soaring with ducks. He credits an old song and mental toughness – The Denver Post

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Troy Terry is one of the hottest offensive players in the NHL right now and could soon be inducted into the US Olympic team in February.

If you ask the Highlands Ranch resident and Anaheim Ducks winger, all it took was a switch to his amateur number — and perhaps some indirect help from Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic — to effect a mindset shift that led to his best 16 game point streak that ended Monday.

Terry wore the number 19 in his childhood days in Colorado and at the University of Denver as a nod to Sakic, who has retired his number 19 at Ball Arena. Terry helped the Pioneers to the 2017 NCAA Championship as a sophomore, and he and his father have always admired Sakic — a Hall of Famer on the first ballot who was the reason Terry became the first hockey player in his family.

“My dad was also a big fan of Joe, and I was able to wear (19) when I was here in college,” Terry said Wednesday from Ball Arena, where the Avs are hosting Anaheim in a pre-Thanksgiving game. “Making that switch felt like a new chapter for me. I felt that I had made progress in my professional game and showed flashes. This year I felt I was ready to be an impact player every game and not just every few games, and just really take that next step. ”

Terry said it was important to his family, too. He wore number 61 in his first three years in the NHL — and not because that number 19 is upside down. The Ducks assigned it to him.

“It’s cool for my dad,” Terry said. “I found out a few days before Father’s Day, so I was able to send him a 19 jersey.”

It was cool – after his father realized what he had received.

“He opened it upside down and he didn’t really understand why I was giving him a sweater he already had,” Terry said with a laugh.

The team arrived in Denver late Monday-evening after losing 3-2 in Nashville. Terry spent time with family and friends on Tuesday before treating the Ducks’ veterans to dinner downtown.

The top right wing for Anaheim (10-6-3), Terry leads the Ducks with 12 goals and 22 points coming in Wednesday night. The 24-year-old is joint sixth in NHL scores and fifth in goals. And he attributes his dramatic rise in part to building a strong mental calm.

“Physically, the goal was to get stronger and I’ve done that over the years, which has clearly helped. But the mentality and mindset of pro hockey, the mental side of it, has always been tough,” he said. “I’ve always been an overthinker. It’s been quite a change of mindset for me this year. Not that I care less, but I’m less worried I don’t ride the roller coasters much anymore.

“I’m confident in my ability and that I will come to the rink every day and just work hard.”

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Highlands Ranch native Troy Terry soaring with ducks. He credits an old song and mental toughness - The Denver Post 3

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