The Anaheim Ducks and Troy Terry agreed on a seven-year, $49 million contract on Wednesday morning, avoiding an arbitration hearing that was set to take place later in the day. Terry was set to enter his penultimate restricted free agency (RFA) season, and now the two-time all-star right winger is signed through the 2029-30 season to a contract that will cover his age 26-33 seasons. The deal carries a $7 million average annual value (AAV) and will include a 10-team no-trade clause that begins on July 1st, 2025.
Terry will enter the 2023-24 season following back-to-back seasons of tallying north of 60 points. He set a career-high in 2021-22 with 67 points (37 goals + 30 assists) in 75 games and followed that up with 61 points (23 goals + 38 assists) in 70 games in 2022-23. Terry averaged .89 and .87 points/game in those seasons, respectively. He was only one of two Anaheim Ducks to crack the 60-point threshold in the last two years (Trevor Zegras was the other). A significant percentage of the team’s offense recently has run through Troy Terry.
It’s no secret that the Ducks are trying to climb their way out of a rebuild. They hit rock bottom last season as they finished with the worst record in the NHL and were the worst defensive team in the modern era (since the 2004-05 lockout), allowing 335 goals. The coaching staff attempted to deploy a system that was non-conducive to Terry’s strengths as a player. Throughout most of the season, on the breakout, they favored high flips out of the zone leading to neutral zone battles and prioritized a hyper-aggressive forecheck aiming to cause turnovers deep in the opposing end. Despite the team he played for and the system they ran, Terry’s consistent production is remarkable.
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Troy Terry is one of the most cerebral players in the NHL and a true play-driver. He possesses well-above-average puck skills and an intelligent shot. He won’t blow any goaltenders away but has a quick release and effectively uses defenders as screens for a well-placed shot. At every level he’s ever played at, he studies, experiments, and eventually figures out how to make himself impactful and productive. Terry is a transition monster. He attacks from any zone with a deadly combination of speed, shiftiness, and intellect and will use a defender’s positioning and momentum against them. Standing at 6 ft and weighing 185 lbs, he’s not a powerful player, yet he finds a way to get to the high-danger areas of the ice and create scoring opportunities.
In early June, Ducks General Manager Pat Verbeek hired Greg Cronin to be the 11th coach in franchise history. Along with a new perspective, Cronin will bring with him a new culture and system to the Anaheim Ducks. Judging from a handful of interviews Cronin has given since his hiring, he not only seems to be a teacher of the game but, like Troy Terry, a true student. On several occasions, Cronin has eluded to the copious amount of film he watches and compiles as part of his process and philosophy as a coach. His goal is to get the most out of every player on the roster and implement a system and playing style that will lead the team to its ultimate goal. With Terry locked up now to a long-term, seven-year contract, the relationship between the two of them will be vital to the team’s ultimate success going forward.
The forward group in Anaheim is looking to take a step in the right direction in 2023-24. That unit will be bolstered by the significant free agency signing of Alex Killorn to a four-year, $25 million ($6.25 million AAV) contract. Killorn will join a group of veterans that includes Adam Henrique, Jacob Silfverberg, Ryan Strome, and Frank Vatrano as they look to insulate and nurture the development of younger players like Mason McTavish, Trevor Zegras and possibly a few more (Groulx, Gaucher, Nesterenko, etc). In the middle of those two groups of players sits Troy Terry, an intelligent, well-spoken, and talented core piece of the present and future of the franchise. This set of circumstances has led to speculation on whether Terry is destined to become the next captain of the Anaheim Ducks. Time will tell if that educated speculation will go rewarded.
Pat Verbeek and the Anaheim Ducks still have two significant RFAs to sign before the puck drops for the 2023-24 season; 21-year-old defenseman Jamie Drysdale and 22-year-old center Trevor Zegras. Drysdale will be returning from a torn labrum that cost him the majority of his 2021-22 campaign, so he will more than likely sign a shorter-term contract. Trevor Zegras, on the other hand, is one of the most productive and exciting young players in the NHL, so he’s likely looking to sign a contract with a very big number on it. These are the dog days of summer, but the business of NHL hockey never rests as we keep an eye on the horizon and what the 2023-24 season has in store for Troy Terry and the Anaheim Ducks.