Troy Scott made big strides during his junior year at Arizona State. So big, in fact, that he was named the team's scrappiest player.
"Are you sure it wasn't (Kory) Chisholm? He is a pretty scrappy guy too," Scott responded.
The senior forward could not even take a compliment without pointing to another teammate who he felt was just as deserving of the award. Scott is the definition of a team player because he embraces the role the team needs him to play.
"It's just the way I was raised. When you get to this level, you know you can't be like (Danny) McAuliffe, the guy who scores the goals, or (Colin) Hekle. You have to play your role. And that's what some of the new guys coming in this year may not be accustomed to and they will find out soon enough that there is a role Powers wants you to play," Scott said.
He had two goals and seven assists in 40 games last year and two of his assists came in the ACHA National Tournament. Scott was able to blossom during the second half of the season once Kyle Bowen became eligible to play. Dan Anderson worked well with Scott, too, but there is no denying the chemistry Scott found with his new linemates late last year.
"To be honest the line I was with (helped me succeed). (Kyle) Bowen and (Kory) Chisholm are really, really good with me. I think we really connected together."
The West Grove, Penn. native came into Arizona State used to being the go-to scorer and he was a top-line power play forward. But head coach Greg Powers found him as a talented two-way skater who dominates on the penalty kill.
"That's part of my DNA," Scott said. "That's how I was raised and taught how to play. I'm not going to be on the power play, I'm going to be on the P-K (penalty kill). My philosophy is that defense is always going to lead to offense and being as hard working as I am I feel like that's something I bring to the team. Maybe some of the new guys can come in here and see how important defense is."
Last season, Scott worked individually with Powers and assistant coach Scott Jacko on tweaking his defensive game and positioning. Last season, Arizona State's penalty kill was consistently around 90 percent and Scott said that he "really benefited from that extra ice time because we aren't going to get as much as the guys on full strength."
Though he is not the biggest player, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound, Scott knows how to play physical and he uses that edge to wreak havoc in the offensive zone. He is almost always the first man back on defense and the four-year starter has helped build the image of Sun Devil hockey.
When it comes to stepping up his game, Scott sets the bar high and he made sure he was physically ready for his final seven month season.
"I did a lot of weight training trying to get up in weight a little bit," Scott said. "I got a lot stronger and a little bigger so hopefully that will add to my game because I'm a checking guy. I'm not going to be there to put the puck in the net every night, but I'm there to bring energy. I'm going to hit guys and make things happen and try to get excited even when things aren't going our way."
Scott may not play the same minutes as fellow seniors Hekle, McAuliffe and Kale Dolinski, but he makes the most of his time and rarely gets scored on when he is on the ice.