As a kid growing up near Denver, Troy Terry had a rinkside seat to watch the University of Denver hockey team win back-to-back national championships.
His family had season tickets and often made the trip to Magness Arena to watch those dominating Pioneer teams that featured the likes of Paul Stastny, Matt Carle and Gabe Gauthier.
Fast forward a decade and now it's Terry's turn to be the player that Colorado kids are looking up to. In his second season with the highly-ranked Pioneers, the sophomore forward from Highlands Ranch, Colo., has become one of the top scoring threats on a Denver team that lost a number of key contributors from the 2015-16 squad.
After DU got off to an 0-2 start this season, Terry showed his ability to be a difference-maker by going on a four-game point streak to help the Pioneers get on track.
"He's become a 200-foot hockey player," said head coach Jim Montgomery. "He's always on the right side of the puck. He is so important for us all over the ice."
It's not just on the ice where Terry has demonstrated the ability to be a difference maker. Even as he remains focused on working his way up in the hockey ladder, he hasn't forgot about the importance of helping others along the way. It's a trait that he developed during his two-year tenure as a member of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program.
As a 16-year-old away from home for the first time, Terry quickly found his way at the NTDP, tallying 9 goals and 25 assists in 66 games.
When he wasn't producing on the ice, Terry and his teammates were involved in various volunteering efforts, such as working at a senior living facility and bell-ringing for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Fundraiser.
"We want the players to learn how to be good citizens," said Scott Monaghan, the senior director of operations for the NTDP. "We think volunteering teaches them humility and understanding that life isn't just about the 60 minutes on the hockey rink."
It's a lesson NTDP alums carry with them as they continue on their hockey journey.
Even with a full plate of academic and athletic obligations at DU, Terry still finds time to help coach youth teams.
"It gives me a sense of appreciation," said the fifth-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in the 2015 NHL Draft. "It always makes me thankful for my family and everything they've done. It's nice that we can make an impact out in the community."
And that includes remembering what it was like to be one of those hockey-hungry kids watching from the stands.
"It's important to set a good example," he said. "I play for the kids, so I try to play with class and show them how the game is played."