BLOOMINGTON — An older generation of hockey fans may be doing a double-take when they see the player in the No. 19 jersey skate up and down the ice at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
That “19” has the name “Trottier” above it.
No, that’s not the Hockey Hall of Famer and winner of seven Stanley Cups trying to recapture his youth in the minor leagues. That’s Bryan Trottier’s nephew, Jordy, trying to carve out his own niche as a professional hockey player.
“Some do ask if I’m related,” Trottier said. “It’s usually the older fans. But it’s something that makes me proud. Hopefully, I make them proud in the same sense. I like to play that old-time kind of hockey — finish checks, bang and shoot the puck.”
Trottier, a 23-year-old rookie, comes from deep hockey bloodlines. Uncle Bryan compiled 1,425 points during a remarkable 18-year career in the National Hockey League that led to his Hall of Fame induction in 1997. His father, Monty, was a fourth-round pick of the New York Islanders and played several seasons in the minors.
Another uncle, Rocky, was the eighth overall pick of the New Jersey Devils in 1982 and eventually reached hockey’s top level for a brief stint.
Bottom line: the Trottiers could play.
“That’s really sculpted the player that I am,” said the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Trottier. “I’ve always had three people I could bounce ideas off of. They’ve always been there to push, not just support. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the three of them. I’ve said it a lot that I would like to be the ultimate Trottier, a little bit from each of them.”
Trottier joined the Blaze in early December. He initially battled a case of strep throat but has recently caught his stride. On Sunday, he scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Quad City, giving him four goals in 15 games during his rookie season.
“Jordy is a creature of seeing the way his uncle worked,” said Blaze coach Paul Gardner, himself a veteran of 10 NHL seasons from 1976 to 1986. “He saw at a young age how to be a pro. He understands the pro game that it’s not just about going out and playing hockey.”
Trottier quickly has gotten involved off the ice in the Twin Cities. He helps with youth practices at the Pepsi Ice Center and works with the local chapter of the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal, a project organized by teammate Doug Krantz.
“I love going around and doing stuff in the community,” Trottier said. “I like to stay involved. I’ve always loved helping with the youth hockey. When I was young, there were always older guys coming around helping me out. It’s good to pay it forward.”
One-timers: The Blaze play a home-and-home series beginning Friday night at U.S. Cellular Coliseum against Missouri. The Mavericks have won both meetings, a pair of 3-0 shutouts with CHL goaltender of the week Charlie Effinger in net. … The two teams meet Saturday at Independence (Mo.) Event Center. Both games start at 7:05 p.m. … Forward Jon Booras skated for the first time Thursday since tearing his hamstring Jan. 3. He said the tear was not as bad as first feared. He is hopeful to return in a few weeks. He was originally expected to miss at least two months.
Missouri at Blaze
Time: 7:05 p.m. Friday