Peyton Trzaska has been coached to make sure he is set to the puck, in position and that his angles are good.
The Princeton Posse rookie goalie says “I’m not really flashy.” He works to be ready for the puck and considers his style of play similar to new Vancouver Canucks goalie Braden Holtby.
“He is not a very fancy goaltender. He is very mentally stable and very controlled and that is how I picked up my playing style,” says Trzaska, of the Stanley Cup-winning goalie. “I really like how he is mentally prepared all the time and he is always square to the puck.”
The Drayton Valley, Alta., product began his Kootenay International Junior Hockey League career by splitting his first two games, earning a 4-1 win over the Kelowna Chiefs on Nov. 20. Trzaska, who began the season at the camp of the Drayton Valley Thunder in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, has the fourth best save percentage in the KIJHL at 0.945.
The 18-year-old feels he was off to a pretty good start. He is focused on not slowing down his development and believes the KIJHL is a great step for his progress to make it to the high levels.
Trzaska, who played the previous two seasons with the Leduc Oil Kings U18AAA program, looks to improve his speed, how he thinks the game and moving efficiently in his crease. Playing in the Princeton and District Arena, the six-foot, 180 pound goalie is also working on his puck handling because of the smaller ice surface.
“The bounces are a lot different. I make sure that I am focusing on where the bounces can go. How I can use the boards to my advantage,” says Trzaska, who likes to be a strong puck handler to be like a third defenceman and help the Posse get the puck out of their zone quicker. “That skill definitely makes you stand out more as a goaltender if you are a great puck handler.”
Posse coach-GM Mark McNaughton says they were very happy with Trzaska’s start. Starting the season at the Thunder’s Junior A camp made Trzaska comfortable during the Posse camp from the first day.
“We identified him as a player who we felt was capable of playing at the next level already, making him a top tier player in our league,” says McNaughton. “Being able to start the year with confidence in your starting goalie is a big load off managing a roster, and Peyton gives us that.”
McNaughton likes Trzaska’s maturity and his understanding of the game, plus that he has started with poise. McNaughton expects Trzaska’s confidence to grow with every game and they look forward to seeing what he is capable of achieving.
Trzaska came to Princeton because of McNaughton, who he says is a great coach and understands players’ desire to reach the next level. After doing his due diligence on Princeton – what the community is about – and speaking with McNaughton, Trzaska knew the Posse program would help his development.
“I think it’s the league that similarly reflects Junior A. You work out everyday. You practice everyday. You play every weekend,” says Trzaska, who has friends who benefited from playing in the KIJHL. “It’s definitely a good step for my development to make sure I am getting better. This is a great league to do it in.”