Every week leading up to October 13, the Rookie Round-Up will give ECHL fans the chance to get to know a rookie who has signed with an ECHL team for the 2017-18 season. This week, the ECHL spoke with Troy Crema of the Orlando Solar Bears. He’s eagerly awaiting and preparing for his first professional game – get to know him in this Q&A!
Name: Troy Crema
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
ECHL Team: Orlando Solar Bears
2016-17 Team: Dartmouth College (31 gp, 17g, 12a, 29 pts.)
ECHL: How would you describe your game?
Troy Crema: I’m a creative and skilled forward who likes to score obviously. But I also play a strong two-way game, and that’s something I feel like I really developed over my last year under Coach Gaudet at Dartmouth. I want to be reliable in my own end, but also be counted on to put goals on the board.
ECHL: Who do you model your game after?
TC: I think someone like Zach Parise, who is a solid two-way player and a good leader. You look at Sidney Crosby and how amazing he is, yet is a solid teammate and team player. Patrick Kane is another one, awesome player and someone I strive to play like.
ECHL: What are you most looking forward to in your first season of pro hockey?
TC: Just the competition and being able to go out there and compete against bigger and stronger players who have been in the League for a lot longer than me. I think going out there on a day-to-day basis in both practices and games will help me to become a better person and better player. I enjoy getting better every day and can’t wait to get Orlando and get the process started.
ECHL: Why did you choose to sign in Orlando?
TC: I think coming from the college game, getting to play for Drake Berehowsky and the staff with the Solar Bears will be a huge benefit. They know how to develop players for the next level and I thought that training would be for the best. I also talked to other players who’ve played there and they have said that the entire organization is top notch and really takes care of the players. And you certainly can’t complain about the weather, it’ll be a nice change from the New England winters.
ECHL: What is the proudest moment of your hockey career to this point?
TC: I think just getting the opportunity to play for four years at Dartmouth. Putting that jersey on every game was always a great feeling and something I never took for granted. I have great memories from my time there, including scoring the game-winning goal against Michigan this past season in front of a sold-out crowd. That was a great feeling.
ECHL: How are you spending your summer?
TC: I took a trip down to Florida a couple of weeks ago, and got to stop in Orlando for a bit to get acclimatized and check out the area. I got to see the Amway Center and tour the city a bit and then went to Fort Lauderdale for a few days. But mainly just working out, I’ve been doing that since early June to get ready for the season.
ECHL: Any last words for Solar Bears’ fans?
TC: I just want to let them know that I am really looking forward to playing in Orlando and being a Solar Bear. We want to have a great time and hopefully go on a nice run and bring them a championship.