The Vancouver Canucks have re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Troy Stecher a two-year contract worth $4.65 million, or $2.325 million per season AAV. This contract expires at the end of the 2019-20 season.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) July 20, 2018
Troy Stecher Re-Signs with the Canucks
Originally an undrafted defenseman, Troy Stecher just wrapped up his second full season at the NHL level. After a strong finish to his NCAA career at North Dakota, including a first all-star team placement as a senior, Stecher signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Canucks prior to 2016-17. He appeared in 71 games that first season and followed that with 68 games in 2017-18.
Stecher, 26, posted only one goal and ten assists for 11 points last year. This came in significantly lower than his rookie season, where he amassed three goals and 21 assists. His ice time also dropped over a full minute per night on average to 18:49. If last season turns out to be one of those “sophomore slump” situations, his stats should rebound.
Further reasons for his decrease in production could be found in his usage. After a rookie season in which he started 51.2% of his shifts in the offensive zone, he started most of his shifts (51.5%) in the defensive zone this season. He spent much more time on the second powerplay unit as a rookie as well, ice time that he’ll surely be fighting to reclaim.
“Troy Stecher is an important part of our team,” said Canucks general manager Jim Benning. “He’s a talented two-way defenceman who competes every shift. Troy has a willingness to always improve his game and is an example of a young player committed to being a professional.”
Next Season for Stecher
While his numbers sagged, Troy Stecher is still young and only entering his third year of professional hockey. He should be given plenty of opportunities on a weaker Vancouver team too. Plenty of players struggle to find consistency after their rookie season, and Canucks fans are hoping he breaks out of his “sophomore slump” to regain the exciting promise he displayed two seasons ago.
Main Photo: VANCOUVER, BC – APRIL 05: Vancouver Canucks Defenseman Troy Stecher (51) skates against the Arizona Coyotes during the first period in a NHL hockey game on April 05, 2018, at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC. (Photo by Bob Frid/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)