TROY, NY — Corey Tropp participated in his first practice as a member of the Albany Devils Friday at Knickerbacker Ice Arena. Tropp, was reassigned by the Chicago Blackhawks on loan from the Rockford Icehogs Thursday. The new right-winger for the Devils was preparing for his first game of the season, even if it comes just days after arriving.
“The loaning of players used to seem more common place when I played,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “It was a tough situation for him, I think they had 17 forwards in Rockford and he knew that he was potentially going to be in and out of the lineup because of a kind of youth movement there. He’s just excited knowing he is going to play and be able to contribute.”
Tropp, who was acquired by Chicago this summer from Columbus as part of the eight player blockbuster trade that sent Brandon Saad to the Blue Jackets, may only have one practice with the Devils under his belt, but he is not a completely unknown entity to Kowalsky.
“I remember him briefly from Portland. They had some pretty good teams there under Kevin Dineen with Buffalo,” Kowalsky said. “We also saw him a little bit in Rochester. Just seeing him today though, I really like his skill level. He certainly looks like a guy at this level who can be a top minute guy for us where he’s playing on the power play and penalty kill.”
The Grosse Point Woods, MI native has over 100 AHL games played, as well as 148 NHL games with Buffalo and Columbus.
“He’s an experienced guy who is hungry to play. So that’s certainly good for us. And he’s another right handed shot,” said Kowalsky.
Of the 15 Devils forwards on the roster, only five shoot right.
As for Tropp, he describes himself as a gritty two-way forward that can make plays.
“I just want to go out and work hard and be a guy that brings the same effort every night. I think I can come in and help a lot of these young guys and have a voice in the room and be a leader. I believe I can help contribute and do whatever it takes to help this win games.”
For someone who has been around the professional game for over five years, Tropp understands the situation going on in Chicago and Rockford.
“The American League is a developmental league and you understand certain aspects of it. It was just a tough situation to be in at the time. Now, I think it’s a better situation for everybody. I’m just looking at it like that. I just want to go out and play hockey and have some fun.”
The third round draft choice of the Sabres in 2007 may have only arrived in Albany Thursday, but he prefers jumping in and playing right away.
“We’ve got a game tomorrow night so I have to get ready to go and get acclimated as quick as possible and just go out and play the game.”
Going out and playing in games is exactly why Tropp was reassigned to Albany, and the idea for both the team and the player, is that it will be a regular occurrence this season.