Jacob Trouba, 19, D, 6'2, 187 lbs
Last Year's Ranking: N/A
This Year's Ranking: 25
Jacob Trouba is looking to make a difference in 2013-14 - this time in the NHL.
In 2012-13 as a rookie at the University of Michigan, Trouba collected 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) in 37 games while earning many different awards and accolades in the NCAA - including All-CCHA Rookie Team, All-CCHA Best Offensive Defenseman, and All-CCHA First Team, not to mention making the NCAA West First All-American Team.
Add to that an outstanding World Junior championship with his home United States en route to a gold medal (he had two goals, seven assists in five games) and winning even more accolades - being named to the World Junior All-Star Team, and named as the Best Defenseman in the tournament.
Quite the accomplishments for 2012-13 for the Jets prospect. Maybe he can show Mark Scheifele his gold medals (re-enact the Ryan Getzalf-Bobby Ryan episode for World Juniors) and the debate can be on to who is the better prospect. (Trouba won gold in 2011 and 2012)
Truth is, Jacob Trouba is a solid draft pick by the Jets in 2012.
Never have I had any doubts about Trouba's ability to skate, shoot, hit, and defend.
At Jets Development Camp at the MTS Iceplex this past July, big number 3 was always one step ahead of the all of the prospects and almost reminded me of a young Chris Pronger (without the skate tongues sticking out) just sitting in a rocking chair in front of the net playing the perfect positioning for a takeaway.
With his entry-level pro contract signed, Trouba has put additional pressure on the defensive corps of the Jets which is already bunched up as much as it has ever been. He has the tough task of trying to cut into the the Jets lineup with the likes of incumbents Dustin Byfuglien, Toby Enstrom, Zach Bogosian, and Mark Stuart mixed in with the young, fringe defenders such as Grant Clitsome, Paul Postma, Zach Redmond and even Arturs Kulda and the wildcard in Adam Pardy.
It's a deep pool of blueliners, but if any young player of this group has the ability to break into this group, it will be Trouba.
The 2013-14 season is all about statements and Jacob Trouba is ready for a statement, only thing is will it be in the AHL or the NHL?