RED DEER – This month’s Alumni Spotlight features Duncan Milroy, formerly of the South Side Athletic Club Lions.
Duncan grew up playing minor hockey in Edmonton, and said he started skating when he was just four years old, as he had two older brothers to keep up with.
After a standout season with the SSAC U15 AAA Lions in 1997-98, Duncan was taken in the first round, 16th overall by the Swift Current Broncos in the 1998 WHL Draft. During his time with the Broncos between 1999-2002, he suited up for the 2001 NHL Top Prospects Game, and was drafted in the second round, 37th overall by the Montreal Canadiens.
Duncan’s standout Junior career continued as he was traded to the Kootenay Ice in 2002, where he helped lead the team to a not only a WHL Championship, but a Memorial Cup Championship as well. He was named the WHL Playoffs MVP that year, leading the league in playoff goals (17), assists (20), and points (37).
Moving on from Junior hockey, Duncan played five seasons with the Canadien’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate Hamilton Bulldogs. In the 2006-07 season, he was called up to the NHL, where he saw five games of action with the Canadiens. He spent the remainder of the season with the Bulldogs in the AHL, where the team would go on to win the Calder Cup.
After a one-year stint in Europe, Duncan returned to the AHL to play for the Houston Aeros, the affiliate of the Minnesota Wild. He would once again play in Europe from 2010-2013, before retiring from hockey and returning to Edmonton, where he still calls home today. In his post-hockey career, he is the owner of home medical supply companies and pharmacies throughout Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Manitoba, and British Columbia.
In addition to his on-ice skills, Duncan was also a standout badminton player growing up, winning five National Championships before leaving for the Western Hockey League.
Despite his individual accomplishments in sport, Duncan said the group accomplishments are what really stand out in his memory.
“When I look back, the most memorable times were when I was a part of a team that did something special,” he said. I was fortunate to win several championships through my career, and the joy of accomplishing something great with a great group of guys was amazing.”
Now a minor hockey coach himself, Duncan points to the coaching he received in his playing days as a major stepping stone for his success.
“I was lucky enough as I said before to have some amazing coaches who taught me how to play the game, believed in me, and gave me the opportunity to shine,” he said. “It gave me the confidence to feel like I could be successful at any level.”
He even looks to one coach specifically as the biggest influence on his career.
“Growing up I had a coach named Dan Auchenberg,” Duncan said. “He took care of me and taught me a lot about he game of hockey. He was not only an amazing coach, but he was a great mentor for young kids.”
Although he’s travelled the world playing hockey, Duncan said Alberta will always be his home, and was honoured and full of pride any time he got the opportunity to represent the Province in competition.
“Hockey has given me the opportunity to travel the world,” Duncan said of his playing days. “Living in different parts of the country, living in the USA, living in Europe, meeting and learning about other cultures and making lifetime friends along the way.”
Now an Assistant Coach with the CAC U18 AAA Gregg Distributors, Duncan had just two pieces of advice for aspiring hockey players.
“Have fun, and work hard,” he said. “If you do these two things, you will enjoy hockey.”