As the OHL prepares for the 2020-21 season, the Petes are showcasing how our players are handling the pandemic and preparing for their on-ice return. This instalment of Saturday Showcase features Curtis Trolley.
The Peterborough native played the last two seasons with the OJHL’s Lindsay Muskies and was invited to the Petes training camp in 2019. The coaching staff saw potential in Trolley and had the forward suit up in 12 games with the Petes. Trolley recently sat down with us and provided insight into what it was like playing Peterborough hockey and goals for the future.
Blaind: You were originally drafted by Erie in 2017, but were cut in training camp two years in a row. What kept you motivated to keep playing and getting better?
Trolley: It was just the love for hockey. I think every kid has that aspiration to play at a high level so you just have to keep pushing to get there. I wanted to get better and prove that I could get there.
Blaind: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone who is having a challenging start to their hockey career, similarly to you?
Trolley: I would say that it doesn’t matter where you start because everyone is going to be at a different skill level at the beginning. Some guys are late growers like myself. I didn’t make it for two years but everyone has that opportunity so you just have to make the most of it.
Blaind: You grew up around Petes players because of your parents being billets, how did having that experience grow you as a player?
Trolley: It was really cool. When I was younger I had the opportunity to hang out with these guys who eventually went to the NHL. Now I get the chance to say “I know him” or “I played mini sticks with him”. It definitely pushed me more and showed me that it is possible.
Blaind: Did you have any players that you were close with while they were staying with you?
Trolley: I would say Stephen Pierog was one of my favourites. We were pretty close and we would hang out quite a bit. Jordan Staal and I would always play mini sticks. He didn’t live with me but he would come over a lot.
Blaind: As a student, what are some of your favourite courses that you have taken?
Trolley: I’m in calculus right now and it’s probably my favourite course I’ve taken. I really enjoy the challenge of academics because I’m looking into going into engineering so anything math-related, I’m extremely interested in.
Blaind: What is your favourite part about playing with the Petes and in Peterborough?
Trolley: Peterborough is in my hometown, and I think that playing here is my favourite part. You are a role model to the younger kids whether you realize it or not. For myself, I would see the players like brothers but for other kids who are billets, they only see them on the ice and look at them like professional athletes. I love being a role model for kids that are working toward being where I am.
Blaind: Who is your biggest hockey influence?
Trolley: It would be a tie between my dad and my brother. They have both supported me my entire life. My dad played a little bit in the OHL and my brother has always watched me and even coached me. I have learned a lot from them.
Blaind: Coming to the team for the first time last year, who were you closest with?
Trolley: I got pretty close with Keegan McMullen and Nick Robertson. Keegan McMullen and I were both first years and were on the same line in camp so we became pretty close from there. I knew Robertson a bit from the year before because of Cam Supryka who was billeting at my house at the time. When I made the team, our friendship just kept growing from there.
Blaind: Did you learn anything from them that helped when you first came onto the team?
Trolley: McMullen and I were learning together about how the guys practice and prepare themselves. Robertson showed me the work ethic that takes to not only play in the OHL but the NHL as well. He is one of the hardest-working players on and off the ice. I’m not sure if he realizes this but he showed me what it takes to be in the OHL.
Blaind: How did you feel after the season was cancelled last year?
Trolley: It was pretty upsetting. We got most of the year in which was good but we were set to have a strong playoff run and hopefully a chance at the Memorial Cup because of the team we had. It was a hard pill to swallow when we didn’t get the chance to see that play out but we kept our heads up looking forward to the next season with a fresh start. I am looking forward to playing a full year whenever that chance comes.
Blaind: How have you been keeping yourself busy during quarantine?
Trolley: I have been skating two to four times a week with a few other players and I have been working out as well. I was at Hybrid for the summer. I am lucky enough to have a home gym so I’ve been working out there as well. I have been working a couple of different jobs so I have been keeping busy.
Blaind: What are you looking forward to when you are able to get back in the locker room?
Trolley: I just want to get back around my teammates again. That is the best part about being there. I doubt that we will be playing in front of fans whenever we get back to playing because that is also a great part. I’m just ready to get back on the ice and compete to win every game.
Trolley is staying busy with school and work while he waits for his return to the ice. He continues to work to maintain his speed and strength to secure him a permanent position with the Petes this upcoming season.
Want to know more about Trolley’s teammate Artem Guryev? Click here to hear about how he adjusted to moving to Canada from Russia.