After winning a championship during his debut season in the Ontario Hockey League in 2019, 20-year-old defenseman Zack Terry is looking to repeat the trick during his first year of OJHL hockey with the Haliburton County Huskies.

Signing with the team in October, Terry has been a mainstay on the Dogs’ blueline, logging big minutes in all situations and posting eight points in 16 games.

The Oakville native brings considerable experience to the Huskies locker room. He’s played three seasons of major junior, appearing in 187 games for the Guelph Storm and Flint Firebirds, sharing the ice with a raft of current NHLers, including Nick Suzuki (Montreal Canadiens), Sean Durzi (Los Angeles Kings) and Alexei Toropchenko (St. Louis Blues).

While he loved every second of his OHL experience, Terry was excited to join the Huskies. After leaving the Firebirds five games into this season, Terry connected with a former Storm teammate, Ty Collins, who told him all about life in Haliburton County.

He was blown away by the Huskies’ facilities and culture, saying the program is “as close to major junior as you’re going to get.”

Moving into the ‘hockey house’ in Haliburton, Terry said he’s come to appreciate life in the Highlands.

“It’s just a different lifestyle up here. It’s not like home, where there’s a Tim Hortons on every corner. Things are more laid back,” Terry said. “I’m really happy I came here.”

He’s enjoyed becoming something of a minor celebrity – he says he often stops to chat with fans while out grocery shopping, enjoying a meal, or walking around town. In fact, that level of engagement with the fans has been one of the highlights of his time in Haliburton County thus far.

“This is a community that’s so passionate about hockey. Just looking up and seeing the fans at games, and all the Huskies sweaters and hats you see around town. It’s great to see the pride everybody has in the organization,” he said.

Having the chance to win was another big factor in Terry’s decision to move north. He believes the Huskies have the best roster in the OJHL and expects to still be playing hockey come early May.

Winning a second championship in his final year of junior would be “the icing on an already pretty sweet cake,” Terry said.

“It’s not just all about talent. Every player, whether you’re on the ice for five minutes, or 25 minutes, has to contribute and buy into their role,” Terry said. “We have a special group here, and when we all pull together in the right direction great things can happen.”