NHL dreams the acme for Crescent Coyote

KEEPING UP HIS SPIRIT: Troy Crema overcame a virus that caused an enlarged spleen and looks to pursue an NCAA Division I career post high school.

Centre Troy Crema ready for NCAA scouts

Wake up. Go to school. Do a little light training. Grab a plate of pasta in meat sauce. Arrive at the arena an hour-and-a-half before the first face-off for dry land training.

That’s the schedule on game day for Crescent School’s Troy Crema. The 16-year-old centre is a key figure in his Coyotes’ first place position in CISAA Division II hockey.

“Troy’s in grade 11, and it’s very rare we have a player of that nature in grade 9 or 10 on the varsity team,” Crescent coach Mike Leatch said. “He not only excelled but he was dominant in grade 9 and 10.”

Crema averages three points per game, and his ability is attracting the eye of some Ivy League suitors. Harvard, Yale and Princeton have come calling for the straight-A student.

“I had a guy drive seven or eight hours just to come watch me play one game,” he said. “For them to do that it shows they really care.
“All three of those schools would be a dream to go to, academically,” Crema said.

The ultimate goal for Crema is akin to any child lacing up the skates in Canada: NHL.

Those big leagues dreams are about 50 percent accomplished.

“I’m just playing junior hockey right now and there’s a couple more stages like NCAA hockey,” said Crema who plays club hockey for the Brampton Capitals.

Crema’s path is not without its challenges though.

During his OHL draft year he contracted a virus that enlarged his spleen. The ailment set him back, as Saginaw Spirit took him 297th overall.

“He had some spleen issues and he was off to a little bit of a slow start last year,” Leatch said. “By Christmas he was back to himself and working hard in training.”

Leatch has known Crema since he started classes at Crescent in grade 3. What has stood out the most was his consistent work ethic.

“What impresses me the most is he works hard at both ends of the ice,” he said. “I’ve never seen a hockey player like that before and I’ve been coaching for 14 years.

“He’s a really complete player.”

Crema, who dons the A for the Coyotes, refers to himself as a playmaker who likes to score. For him, finesse players like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are his idols, but Sidney Crosby is his favourite.

And when it comes to his team’s pursuit for OFSAA, they hope to face their East rival, St. Mike’s.

Crema has no concerns with the outcome of the CISAA Division II title.

“Overall we’re a pretty great team,” he said. “We haven’t had too many challenges, maybe putting in a constant effort but that’s about it.

“(OFSAA) is our team’s goal.”

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