Trottier sticks with family tradition
by By Paul Teeple
Mahoning Valley Phantoms forward Jordy Trottier is the latest hockey talent to come from the Trottier family of western Canada.
Trottier’s father and two paternal uncles all played in the NHL, including his father, Monty, for the New York Islanders; his uncle, Rocky, for the New Jersey Devils; and his uncle, Bryan, an NHL Hall of Famer who won six Stanley Cups as a player with the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Trottier says that despite all the NHL talent in his family’s gene pool, he came to hockey all on his own.
“It’s never been forced on me to play,” said the Bozeman, Mont., native. “A lot of people assume that was the case but it wasn’t. I was already gung-ho to play at age 3 after watching hockey for myself because my dad always had games on TV at home or taking me to the rink to watch some high school hockey he was coaching.
“But, between my dad and my uncles, all three have helped mold me into the hockey player that I am today.”
The hockey player that Trottier is today is part scorer, part special-teams ace and part team leader. Despite this being his first year as a Phantom, Trottier takes the leadership role the most seriously of the three. He says that having spent the last two seasons in the NAHL with the Fargo-Moorhead Jets has prepared him to take the lead when necessary this season.
“I’ve been in the league for three years now,” said the winger, “so I’ve had my fair share of games; I know what to expect night in and night out. I have the experience to tell the younger players what to expect.”
Trottier mentions the Sherwood NAHL Showcase Tournament as a place where he was able to use that experience to guide the younger Phantoms.
“I can tell them that there may be a lot of schools and pro teams there watching,” he said, “but we still need to stay calm and play our game. I always try and help the younger players with whatever they need; they’re always looking for help with something, on or off the ice, and I’m happy to lend a hand as a veteran guy.”
As for the rest of Trottier’s family, it’s not just the men that Jordy stays close with. His mother, Cathy, is also a big part of his life. She is currently battling breast cancer and Jordy stays in near-constant contact with her while he is in the Valley.
“We try and stay positive with it,” he said. “We’re a really tight-knit group in my family; I talk to my mom about four times a day just to chat or to tell her what’s going out here that day.”
He also says that she inspires him, especially on the ice.
“You can see it when you watch me play because I keep pink tape at the top of my stick to support her in the fight she’s going through and to let her know that she’s on my mind and that I’m always thinking about her.
“It also reminds me of the strength and determination that she possesses to keep fighting, to beat it... those are two things that I want to put into my game every single night. The pink tape reminds me, shift in and shift out.”
Right now, Trottier lives about 27 hours by car away from his family, but he says that his transition into living in the Valley has been very smooth.
“I’m living with a really great billet family, Lisa and Tony Malangone, in Poland (Ohio),” said the Phantoms’ leading goal-scorer, “and the Boardman and Poland area is really nice.”
“With Youngstown just up the road, you get that cool bigger city feel but while I’m around Boardman and Poland it gives me that nice back-at-home feeling of Bozeman, Montana. I’ve only been here about a month but I’m definitely liking it so far in the Valley.”
He adds that his teammates also eased the move when he arrived in early September.
“My first week or so in town, the guys really helped me out, showing me around and showing me things about the team and the area. It helped me find my niche early because the guys really helped me ease my way into the waters in the Valley.”
Trottier is currently tied for the team lead in goals with Erik Higby with four; he is tied with Brandon Saad for second in points with six. He also logs regular shifts with the Phantoms’ power-play and league-leading penalty-killing units.