Walpole, Mass. – Former Walpole Express Defenseman Terry Watt – currently patrolling the blueline for the Dayton Demonz in the Federal Hockey League (FHL) – is on a mission to capture the prestigious Commissioner’s Cup. Ohio’s Demonz, an expansion team and affiliate of the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets, are the FHL regular-season champs. They are locked in a best three-of-five series battle for the Cup against the Danbury Whalers that began March 15.
“I feel privileged to have played for Express owner Rob Barletta and his coaches,” Watt said. “Not only did these men make me and my teammates into better hockey players, but they also developed our skills as people in general. They have had a tremendous impact on my career and my life.”
After leaving the Express in 2007, Watt laced up for Buffalo State and then headed off to launch his pro career. He played for a number of teams in the U.S., from the Wooster Korn Kings of the AAHL to the Louisiana IceGators of the SPHL to the 1000 Islands Privateers of the FHL – as well as a team in France – before landing a spot with the Demonz.
Barletta said Watt was a leader and a quick study on and off the ice. “We are very proud of his success. Terry has been able to build on the skills he learned in juniors to enjoy a strong pro career,” Barletta said. “It is our mission at the Express to help our players achieve their dreams, whether that means playing college hockey or pursuing the sport even further. We are excited that Terry, has been able to flourish in the pros.”
What Terry Watt Had To Say:
At the age of twenty-seven I am fortunate enough to still be playing hockey and can without question contribute many of my successes to the time I spent as a member of the Walpole Express.
I never expected that I would learn as much as I did, and would be as proud as I am today in being a member of the organization in Walpole upon entering my first year with the team in the 2006-2007 season. We were the first team in the history of the organization to birth a appearance in the post season, and though we didn’t accomplish our goal of winning a championship I feel as a team and an organization we set-the-bar of expectation for future Express players. To this day I feel honored to have been selected as a Captain of that team and take much pride in the thought that perhaps I helped lead our squad and organization to a higher standard. Since then the Walpole Express have gone on to win three league championships and have consequently positioned themselves as a power-house in Junior hockey today.
I think it is fair to say that as athletes we owe many of our successes to the people in our lives who have encouraged and supported us throughout our careers. Rob Barletta and Coach Chris Cerrella are examples of people in my life who I hold in such regard, and further feel privileged to have played for. Not only did these men make me and my teammates into better hockey players, but they also developed our skills as people in general. I will never truly be able to express my gratitude for the impact they have had on my career and my life. During my time in Jr. hockey I was exposed to four different leagues (throughout Canada and the USA) and without question the organization in Walpole is amongst the best and should be considered first-class in every regard. They treat their players as if they were their own children on and off the ice. If I could sum up my experience into five words they would be (Team, Family, Character, Education and Respectfulness).
Almost six years later I still frequently keep in-touch with Mr. Barletta and many of my teammates from that season with the Express. Some of them are still my best friends to this day - we weren’t just a team but rather a very large family. This organization has helped many hockey players over the years reach our goal of one day playing colligate hockey and even sometimes pursue those dreams further, like they did for me, into a career with the professional leagues.
Currently I am playing in the finals looking to capture my second professional championship. Over the past few years I have been so fortunate to be able to play a game for a living in leagues such as the ECHL, SPHL, FHL and D1 overseas in France.
For me, hockey is about accountability and being prepared mentally and physically. It’s about being a team player and battling through all the highs and lows of a season. Theses qualities aren’t handed out nor does everyone posses them. If you are lucky enough to be a member of the Walpole Express these are the qualities that are stressed each and every day and for that I will always be grateful to the ownership and coaching of this organization.
Terry Watt« See All Junior News