August 23, 2017

PU Men’s Hockey Star Teves Had Special Summer, Getting to Skate for Hometown Calgary Flames

LIGHTING THE FLAME: Josh Teves controls the puck in a game last winter for the Princeton University men’s hockey team. This summer, rising junior defenseman Teves got to live out a dream as he skated with his hometown Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League at the team’s Development Camp. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Josh Teves has long dreamed about playing for his hometown Calgary Flames.

“I am a big Flames fan,” said Teves, a 6’0, 180-pound native of the western Canada city. “I had a mock Stanley Cup with the Flames logo on it.”

After a superb sophomore season last winter for the Princeton University men’s hockey team, star defenseman Teves got to hit the ice for the National Hockey League’s Flames this summer as he took part in the team’s Development Camp.

“It was a pretty amazing experience to put on the logo for the first time, even if it is a practice jersey,” said Teves, who tallied four goals and 21 assists in 2016-17 for the Tigers on the way to earning First-Team All-Ivy League honors.

“To have my friends and family in the city be able to come and watch some of the ice times and that sort of thing was pretty special as well. They don’t get a lot of opportunity to see me in the flesh on the ice.”

Teves and his Princeton teammates enjoyed a special campaign last winter as the Tigers went 15-16-3 and advanced to the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals after going 5-23-3 in the 2015-16 season and getting swept by Clarkson in a best-of-three ECACH opening round series.

“It just took a couple of years for the coaching staff to get their message and culture ingrained into us,” said Teves.

“Our first year, we lost a ton of games by one goal and we were just on the edge. I think it was positive this year to see some of that success and have a little taste of it and keep us just wanting more.”

Teves attributed his individual success in his sophomore campaign to the squad’s collective improvement.

“I can thank the team for that; we had a lot of confidence as a team,” said Teves.

“When the rest of your team is feeling good, you are going to feel good as well so I think that was huge. Coming into my second year, I felt more comfortable with the team, the guys around me, and the rest of the league. I could try to make some more plays and jump in a bit more offensively so that was positive.”

It gave Teves a comfortable feeling to be skating with teammate and fellow rising junior Max Veronneau at the Calgary camp.

“It was good to have Max there; he had just been coming from the Vegas camp,” said Teves.

“He had a little more experience than I did so it was nice to go through that with him.”

With a schedule packed with practices, on-ice drills, and meetings, Teves gained some valuable experience at the Calgary camp.

“The coaches were out there, both from the NHL club and some of the AHL (American Hockey League) coaches as well,” said Teves.

“It was a lot of feedback; they could get a closer look at you and give you some personal advice. That was really helpful. We did two practices and a scrimmage at the end. It was pretty neat, there were quite a few fans who came out for the scrimmage and a lot of little kids who play for organizations I had played for.”

Being on the ice with the Flames whetted Teves’s appetite to play pro hockey someday.

“You are surrounded by first round draft picks or guys that play in the American Hockey League and some that have played games in the NHL,” said Teves.

“To feel like you fit in that group and you belong there really helps the confidence. I think that is going to help me moving forward. There is a lot of information, there is a lot of teaching going on and I just tried to sponge it all up as far as all of the different meetings and the advice on or off the ice.”

Looking ahead to the upcoming season at Princeton, Teves has a lot of confidence in the Tigers and their prospects.

“We need to have our goals set high; the ECAC championship is not out of the question,” said Teves.

“We need to have lofty goals; I think we can accomplish them. A tournament berth would come with that and that would be a huge step for our program.”

Teves, for his part, plans to step up even more as a junior.  “I think that part of the game will take care of itself as we succeed as a team,” said Teves, reflecting on his individual goals.

“I am just going to work hard to play a bigger role. Coming into my third year, I want to play more of a leadership role,  helping the younger guys and helping to lead our team.”