Like a lot of young players around the Ontario Hockey League, Ethan Montroy is looking to earn every opportunity he gets.
Putting in the work to try to become a regular at the OHL level, Montroy has left his mark on the Soo Greyhounds coaching staff as the team is just two weeks away from opening regular season action.
“Monty is a lot of fun to work with,” said Greyhounds coach John Dean. “He has a hard-nosed personality and loves coming to the rink. Even his practice habits have a little bit of that grit to them. He’s always getting through hands and competing hard on the puck in practice. He stops on plays when they don’t work out. When those habits are there, those foundational habits of wanting to do things the right way, it’s fun for me because we can work off of that. He has a really good skillset inside traffic. He’s really good in traffic and his ability to make plays under duress. He likes to get to the greasy areas. He knows where you get paid as a hockey player going to the paint. He’s going to be a fan favourite and a lot of fun to watch.”
“It’s been great,” Montroy said of adjusting to the OHL. “It’s an unreal experience. It’s high-end hockey. Everything is a go and I love it. I love going to the rink everyday. It’s like being a pro athlete.”
With training camp and a pair of exhibition games in the rear-view mirror, Montroy said he’s taking full advantage of practice time when the team isn’t in game action.
“I’m paying attention to details in practices, making hard passes” Montroy said. “Always moving my feet is a main key and competing to earn my spot.”
Drafted by the Greyhounds in the third round of the 2021 OHL Priority Selection, Montroy said his early OHL experience hasn’t been without learning along the way.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned is you can’t take anything for granted in this league,” Montroy said. “You have to work hard every single time you’re on the ice, every single time you’re at the rink. Nothing’s given to you.”
Calling himself “a player that likes to push the pace and wants the puck on my stick but likes the physical game and getting to the dirty areas,” Montroy enjoyed his first training camp experience.
“Training camp was a really good experience,” Montroy said. “Meeting future teammates and just playing against a whole bunch of different faces and playing with them. It’s fun playing in that rink (the GFL Memorial Gardens). Even with the fewer fans, you still feel the energy. It was just great.”
Montroy was one of a number of rookies to get into their first OHL action during exhibition games between the Greyhounds and Sudbury Wolves
“It felt really good to be back,” Montroy said of returning to action. “I was a little nervous at first, but after the first shift, it was an unreal experience for my first OHL game. It was high-paced hockey and I loved it.”
Making the jump from minor hockey to the OHL is an adjustment and Montroy said there has been a lot to adjust to through training camp and into the exhibition season.
“Just all of the small areas like hard passes, three first strides, fast-paced,” Montroy said. “Everything is 100 per cent all of the time. It’s always compete, compete, compete.”