Five Games In And I Like Jacob Trouba

When Is The Appropriate Time To Start Singing The Praises Of Jacob Trouba ???

Is it too early to start anointing Jacob Trouba as a stud, a stallion, the real deal, the future, HELL the present?  In my opinion I don’t think so.  I’ll admit I didn’t know much about Jacob Trouba on his draft day except for the different “Draft Profiles” on the internet I had read and some of the expert analysis on the big sports networks.  To be honest most of them under-delivered in their evaluations.

Jacob Trouba

Jacob Trouba during the pre-season wearing his old #3 photo by Shawn Coates

After the first time I saw Jacob Trouba play, I had to rewind my DVR to look at what I had just seen.  I was very encouraged but I tempered my enthusiasm until I saw more.  He didn’t disappoint.  He was one of the youngest players playing in a very good NCAA league (WCHA) and dominating older players quite regularly.  I had heard he likes the physical game and he didn’t disappoint there at all.  I was quite surprised at his skill level, skating and offensive side of the game.  Where did this unheralded offensive game come from?  Once again, I tempered my enthusiasm and thought I would get a better evaluation from his play at the World Junior Hockey Championships at Christmas.  

Well if I had no knowledge of who was Team USA’s best defenceman was, I would have picked Jacob Trouba over the much hyped Seth Jones.  You have to know how much it pains me to say that with me being a Portland WinterHawks guy but the truth is the truth.  Jacob Trouba was “big time” at the WJHC.  I don’t care if he is a year older that Jones as he was really good.

After the WJHC, I watched him a couple more times playing for the University of Michigan and he was very solid.  In a surprise move, he ends up leaving the U of Michigan at the end of their season and signs a pro contract with the Winnipeg Jets.  Mmmm?  What does that mean?  He spends the end of the season practicing and hanging out with the team but gets no game action.  After the Jets season was over, he receives an invitation to join Team USA for WHC !!! Wow !!!

This was the next tipping point for me.  He was playing at the senior men’s World Hockey Championships for Team USA this past spring and I watched every Team USA game with my “scouting cap” on.  He didn’t disappoint.  He was a boy playing in a men’s tournament and not only did he NOT look out of place, I thought he more than held his own.  Now I’m definitely a believer and I actually think this kid has a chance to play in the NHL sooner than later.  There was all kinds of speculation on Twitter and talk radio as to where Jacob Trouba was going to start his pro career.  The Jet’s have long claimed that he would probably start in the AHL and that was the blueprint they were going to follow.  I really believed that they believed this even though I didn’t believe it wholeheartedly.  

Jacob Trouba4

photo by Carol Vermeer

My stance is and will always be that a player will determine his own address.  There is no formula and what is right for one may not work for another.  The summer camps come along and he is good which opens lots of eyes but most still figure he is St. John’s bound.  This may have been reaffirmed by a very shaky start in his first pro game in Belleville.  That game was obviously an aberration.  His play continued to progress through main camp and he ended up making the twenty-three man roster.

Jacob Trouba scores a big goal for the Jets in their first game and first win of the season against the Edmonton Oilers.  If he wasn’t loved by all before that night, it was unanimous after the first game.  

In his first five games he has made some errors which is to be expected at his age but what he has brought to the table is remarkable.  Coach Claude Noel has taken a lot of grief early on this season for some of his line-up decisions but he ain’t no dummy when it comes to his prized rookie.  He has found a thoroughbred and he’s going to ride him.  Trouba has been one of the top ice-time leaders on this Jets team and is playing in all the key situations.  I realise that it’s only been five games but he has been one of the top Winnipeg Jets along with Evander Kane and Michael Frolik. 

His poise and hockey IQ is off the charts.  He can skate, handle the puck, shoot, hit, play mean and compete.  OMG, a coaches dream.  I know it’s only five games in and I promised I wasn’t going to jump the gun but I’ve been bursting at the seams since the WHC wanting to sing the praises of Jacob Trouba.  

I know there are thousands of Winnipeg Jets fans and they were doing the same thing.  It’s okay !!!  Let it out.  We have a keeper.  

 

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Comments

  1. Yes Mitch, it is only five games in, but many of us are feeling some angst about what we have seen primarily over the last three games. Young Mr Trouba gives us something to look forward to, and to marvel at amidst the angst. Shout it out! He is most definitely a keeper!

  2. He’s all of that for sure. I have a concern regarding the heavy load though, as he’s had a light game schedule in the past. Hopefully the Jets have a good feel for that.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      agreed Scott … I think last year he got in around 50 games playing with his various teams plus the time spent in Winnipeg so not a light as other NCAA players but I certainly know what you mean.

  3. I like him ’cause he bounced a puck off the goalies head last night.

  4. Paul Poirier says

    Mitch, as always your columns are a great read. Trouba looks like a definite keeper and along with bogo is and will be one of our best d pairings along with buff/toby

  5. Dan Damphousse says

    Really enjoying your posts, Mitch. Keep em coming!!

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