The Steinbach Pistons are excited to announce that defenceman Troy Williams has made his decision to commit to the Lakehead University Thunderwolves of U Sports for next season.
Williams had two tours of duty with the Pistons, spending half a season in 2016-17 in Steinbach, and was then reacquired from the Portage Terriers for his final junior season in 2018-19. Over the course of his Pistons career, he nabbed 11 goals and 58 points in 81 games in the white and blue Steinbach threads.
“We were thankful we were able to bring Troy back this season, as he obviously had a tremendous year for us,” Head Coach/GM Paul Dyck said of Williams.
Williams explains what went into his decision to choose the Thunderwolves. “Choosing Lakehead was a decision I made after meeting with the coach (Andrew Wilkins),” he said. “I really liked what he had to say and offer. After talking with a few guys on the team, it was an easy choice to make and I couldn’t pass up on, especially after living in Thunder Bay when I was younger.”
The Thunderwolves hockey team plays in the OUA West Division, and will be looking to get back into the playoffs this upcoming season. “We’re going to have a young D core going into the next few years, and I’m excited to learn and grow more as a player while being pushed from the other recruits as well,” Williams explained.
Troy is the second graduating Piston to join Lakehead for next season, joining Thunder Bay’s Brendan Martin. “Playing with Marty again this year is going to be awesome,” Williams exclaimed. “Him and I got a lot closer last year and became good friends. Being there together for the next few years, I’m sure our friendship is only going to get stronger while we push each other.”
The Dryden, ON native was first signed by the Pistons for the 2016-17 season and played 27 games, registering 3 goals and 14 points. The man nicknamed ‘Willy’ was brought back into the fold by Dyck before the 2018-19 season to help bring leadership and a mobile veteran presence to the Pistons defence corps. He responded by putting up a career season, playing 54 games while notching 8 goals and 36 assists. He represented the MJHL at the MJ/SJ Showcase in Regina, and was named a MJHL 1st Team All-Star during the regular season.
Williams elevated his play in the postseason, nabbing one goal and 10 points during the 2019 playoffs while playing an average of 30 minutes a night. He was rewarded for his play with the Pistons Playoff MVP award. “He played through injury and ate huge minutes for us in the playoffs,” Dyck complimented. “He seemed to elevate his play in the games that mattered most.”
Williams became a fan favorite this past season, wowing the TG Smith Centre crowd with his smooth skating and puck-handling while possessing one of the hardest shots in the MJHL. When asked about his favorite thing about playing in Steinbach, he reciprocated right back by acknowledging the fans. “The fans made every home game a privilege to be in,” Williams said.
The 21-year-old will be moving on next season, but he was very grateful to have come back to the Pistons this season. “Coming back to the Pistons organization this year helped me more than anything on moving onto the next level,” he explained. “The way that Paul and Boog (Calvin Bugyik) gave me everything I needed to succeed; from watching extra video in 1-on-1, to giving me a much-needed extra day off, I’ll forever be grateful for that.
“I’m proud to be a Pistons Alumni.”