The Anaheim Ducks enter Thursday’s game against Seattle as one of the NHL’s hottest teams, riding a five-game winning streak and seven-game point streak.
Leading the way for that surge is a surprising offense that is currently eighth in the league in goals per game.
Given where the Ducks have been the past couple of years (both in the standings and offensively), it is almost certainly not the start anybody expected from them so far, and especially not in this manner. Not only have the Ducks been one of the worst teams in the league the past couple of years, they have been absolutely dreadful offensively, sitting 30th out of 31 teams in goals scored over the previous three seasons (ahead of only the Detroit Red Wings).
There was some hope on the horizon with young players Trevor Zegras, Mason McTavish, and Jamie Drysdale cracking the roster, but their impact has been limited early on as they get their feet wet in the NHL. Instead, it is their core group of veterans and one rather surprising name that have driven things so far this season.
That surprising name — Troy Terry.
The 25-year-old winger has come out of nowhere over the first month of the season to be Anaheim’s most productive offensive player and one of the most surprising point producers in the league. He is also finding a way to contribute in pretty much every single game.
He scored the overtime winner in their most recent game, a 4-3 decision over the Vancouver Canucks, to extend his current point streak to 12 consecutive games. His only game this season without a point was his season debut. Since then he has already scored nine goals (already topping his previous career high of seven) and is already up 16 total points. His previous career high before this season was 20 in 48 games during the 2020-21 season.
Entering this season he had scored just 15 goals in 129 games. If you took his previous performances and projected them out of 82 games, he scored at a 9-goal, 29-point pace.
[MORE: Bob Murray resigns as Ducks GM, will enter alcohol abuse program]
So all of this production is very shocking.
Terry is going to be an interesting player to watch going forward this season because the biggest reason behind his jump in production is obvious — he is currently scoring on more than 30 percent of his shots on goal. That will not continue all season. It is a hot streak where everything is finding the back of the net for him. Eventually those percentages will balance out and his goal scoring will normalize. He probably has a zero goal in 10 games stretch lurking somewhere in the not-too-distant future. That is not a knock on him or his play, that is just the reality of life in the NHL. Everybody, even the best players, score goals in bunches and then cool off for an equally extended period of time.
The question is going to be just how much will he cool off, and can he do enough to compensate for that and remain productive. What makes Terry so interesting for the Ducks is there is evidence to suggest that he can.
Even though his point production has not been great in recent years, he has been one of their most effective players during 5-on-5 play in terms of pushing play.
Between the 2018-19 and 2020-21 seasons the Ducks had 34 skaters log at least 500 minutes of 5-on-5 ice-time. Across the board Terry was one of their most useful players in terms of helping the team create chances, limit chances against, and drive possession.
Just a quick rundown of his ranks among the Ducks skaters during that time.
- Ducks’ shot attempt share: 50.9% (6th)
- Expected goal share: 49.9 % (2nd)
- Scoring chance share: 50.3% (2nd)
- Goals scored share: 52.7% (4th)
- Scoring chances against/60 minutes: 25.2 (4th)
- Expected goals against/60 minutes: 2.25 (2nd)
(Data via Natural Stat Trick)
The “everything else” was always there for him. This year the offense is matching up with it. While the shooting percentage spike is a big part of it, he has also done a better job of generating more shots and more chances for himself, which is a good sign. His individual shot and expected goal numbers are all at career highs at even-strength.
He is getting more ice time, playing almost exclusively alongside Ryan Getzlaf, and more power play time. All of it together has been a perfect storm for Terry and the Ducks.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.