Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Winnipeg Jets NHL Jets Home NHL Jets Facebook NHL Jets Twitter NHL Jets Instagram NHL Jets Official Youtube Page Sign Up for Jets Mail Mobile App Buy Tickets Project 11 Hockey Talks
Reading Takes Flight Buy Tickets Facebook Instagram Manage Your Account Jets Pass HQ

Trouba met every challenge head-on

Friday, 22.06.2012 / 8:35 PM / Feature
By Mike Morreale  - NHL.com Staff Writer
X
Share with your Friends


Trouba met every challenge head-on
Whether it was playing for the USNTDP U-18 team, dealing with the pressure of being a top draft prospect or playing at the World Junior Championship, Jacob Trouba excelled in every situation.

Defenseman Jacob Trouba of the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 team expected his draft year not only to be exciting, but challenging.

How prophetic.

Part of those exciting challenges featured Trouba representing his country at the 2012 World Junior Championship in Edmonton and Calgary in January, and then getting to win his second straight gold medal at the World Under-18 Championship in the Czech Republic in April.

The 6-foot-2, 193-pound native of Rochester, Mich., was the youngest player on the U.S. WJC team that finished seventh, but coach Dean Blais had nothing but praise for Trouba, who had two assists in six games.

"He skates well, is physical, he moves the puck, and communicates pretty well on the ice," Blais said. "He doesn't make a whole lot of mistakes, and he's just going to get better and better."

He did just that, totaling nine goals and 22 assists in 50 games for the USNTDP, and was ranked ninth among North American skaters in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings. After captaining the U-17 team last season, Trouba and top 2013 Draft prospect Seth Jones were co-captains of the U-18 team this season.

Trouba never backed away from a challenge, either, as was the case March 15, when another top 2012 draft prospect, Zemgus Girgensons of the Dubuque Fighting Saints, decided to square off against Trouba during a regular-season United States Hockey League game.

The results weren't favorable for Girgensons.

"From where he was last year as an underage player to where he is now, he's developed physically and has even passed some players his age," Central Scouting's Jack Barzee told NHL.com. "He's very mature and pretty close to what he's going to be [in the NHL] ... he's got confidence, tenacity, combativeness and leadership qualities."

Trouba has taken all the positive attention in stride.

"This year was a pretty exciting one for me with all the tournaments I got to play in and you just kind of take what you learn from all of them and try to use and remember it because you're only going to do it a couple of times in your life," Trouba told NHL.com. "I don't want to get caught up in all the draft stuff and worry about the rankings because that doesn't really change how I play or how good I am ... it's just what people think."

As a youngster learning the game, Trouba always played defense. He recalls wanting to receive more ice time, and in order for that to happen, had to play the back end because everyone wanted to be the big-time goal-scorer. He said playing every third shift benefited him.

Today, Trouba is considered very highly by NHL scouts and general managers. He's the top-rated U.S.-based player, and fifth among defensemen in what is considered a remarkably deep crop of blueliners.

"There are all kinds of stories of guys that are thought of who will be really high and then you have to live up to those expectations, they naturally fall off," Central Scouting's David Gregory said. "With Trouba, he stepped in and showed leadership, showed unbelievable skill and ability to lug the puck, defend and be tough. So he's a complete package-type defenseman who skates so well that he'll make someone very happy in this draft."

Gregory compared Trouba to Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle, but with more of an edge to his game.

"He's a bigger hitter than Yandle," Gregory said.

Trouba will play next season at the University of Michigan and already has a major in mind -- kinesiology. The Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League hold his Canadian Hockey League rights, but Trouba said he has no intention of giving up college, unlike recent draft picks who picked the CHL over the NCAA.

He has the potential to one day become a top-two defenseman in the NHL -- USNTDP U-18 coach Danton Cole thinks Trouba has a little Chris Pronger in him.

"Jacob is big and strong both offensively and defensively," Cole said. "He plays the game right and is a solid leader. He's a complete player and will be a good one for a long time. I think he's probably as close as any other 17- or 18-year-old being able to play [in the NHL], but I think the smarter organizations take a little bit more time, especially with defensemen and goalies. Teams might have to be a little conservative, but he's darn close."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

Trouba to hit airwaves

Jacob Trouba of the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 team and one of the top prospects for the 2012 NHL Draft, will appear on NHL Live on Tuesday.

Trouba, a 6-foot-2, 193-pound defenseman, is No. 9 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters.

"He has offense skills and he really does defend well," Central Scouting's David Gregory said. "You can just tell by how he plays in all areas of the ice that he's a big kid who skates really well, he loves to jump into the play and has confidence because he knows his skating can get him back, so he rarely gets caught out of position. He's going to be someone people are going to talk about; we've known about him for a couple years and he hasn't disappointed."

-- Mike G. Morreale

Author: Mike G. Morreale | NHL.com Staff Writer

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 62 38 17 7 182 174 83
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 62 37 20 5 183 146 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 60 29 19 12 162 153 70
9 CGY 61 33 24 4 174 158 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 DAL 61 27 25 9 191 202 63
12 COL 61 26 24 11 161 175 63
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
B. Little 63 24 26 9 50
A. Ladd 63 20 30 12 50
B. Wheeler 61 16 28 12 44
D. Byfuglien 63 15 26 6 41
M. Perreault 56 18 18 3 36
M. Scheifele 63 10 25 4 35
M. Frolik 63 13 19 3 32
D. Stafford 57 10 17 -18 27
J. Tlusty 53 13 10 -17 23
E. Kane 37 10 12 -1 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Hutchinson 18 7 5 .920 2.29
O. Pavelec 13 13 7 .909 2.60
 
Join Jets Cadets Kids Club!