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Posted On Saturday, 06.23.2012 / 12:10 AM

By Jacob Trouba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Jacob Trouba draft blog

Trouba chosen ninth overall by Winnipeg Jets

Hi everyone. What a day it was. I was chosen by the Winnipeg Jets with the No. 9 overall pick.

It was pretty nerve-racking. I hadn't really been nervous all day and finally being picked and becoming a Jet is pretty cool. They were excited that I'm a Jet and excited I was there. I'm very excited as well.

I'm headed to [the University of] Michigan next year to play there and I'm excited to get my education under way and play with coach [Red] Berenson and the players in that building.

I was asked by reporters what I knew about the Jets. I know the city as pretty excited to get their team back last year. It's a great hockey town … I've been there in the past and it's a cool thing. I've seen the Jets on TV a few times but not too much. Whoever is playing on NBC is usually who I watch.

The team knows of my desire to play at Michigan so we're all cool with that. Right now I think getting bigger and stronger is the biggest thing for me, because I like to play physical and that's something I'll need to improve on at the next level.

It was pretty cool to be the first American drafted. There are a lot of great Americans that are in this Draft and I've played with a lot of them the last couple of years in minor hockey. I think it's cool to be here with those guys and be taken this high.

In closing, this is something I'll definitely remember forever and it's pretty cool thing. It's been a fun and exciting year for me and great week in Pittsburgh.

Follow Jacob Trouba on Twitter at: @jacobtrouba

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Posted On Sunday, 06.17.2012 / 9:00 AM

By Jacob Trouba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Jacob Trouba draft blog

USNTDP's Trouba excited for Draft Day in Pittsburgh

Jacob Trouba is a defenseman for the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program of the United States Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 193-pound native of Rochester, Mich., was the youngest player on the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2012 World Junior Championship in Edmonton and Calgary, Alta. He also won his second straight gold medal for Team USA at the Under-18 World Championship in Czech Republic, connecting for one goal, three points and a plus-5 rating in six games. Trouba has agreed to give fans a players' perspective in the week leading up to the 2012 NHL Draft at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, June 22-23, by maintaining a blog of his experiences. Check back often.

Hey everyone!

Only one week until draft day! It's a very exciting time for my family and I and we're looking forward to a crazy fun filled week. My family and friends are making this a special weekend for me. Honestly, it has opened my eyes to how lucky I am to have all these people in my life. I'm sitting in the family room with my dad this morning, trying to watch the U.S. Open and he is constantly on the phone with hotels, restaurants and family making sure everyone is taken care of.

I almost feel bad because I've seen his golf game recently, and he could use a few teaching points from the pros. On a serious note, a big thank you goes out to him for taking all the time to do that.

A total of 30 family members, old coaches and friends are making the trip to Pittsburgh. They'll be making the trip from all over the country, including those from Florida, Missouri and plenty from Michigan.

We are a pretty diverse bunch ranging from 7-foot-1 Uncle Mike, to Aunt Janice, who measures in at 5-foot. Also, a shout out to Uncle Mike and "Royal "T" BBQ" team who won the Kansas City Barbeque contest last week. My Aunt Janice, Uncle Jim and my cousins Alex and Rachel will also be there. I have lived with them the last two years in Ann Arbor and I don't think I would be where I am without them. All of their excellent cooking and hospitality have made the last two years so much easier on me. They have played a huge role in my journey and it is going to mean a lot to have them at the draft with me. The best part about it is that they are going to leave the dogs at home.

As for me, I am feeling great. I've been working out and keeping my normal summer routine on track. It has been great being home with both my brothers and my parents. Tennis has become a pretty common occurrence in the evening. There is usually a pretty big argument to see who gets to be on my team … not really though. I just like to think that I'm good. It's a tough game with a 6-foot-8 dad standing at the net.

This will be my first trip to Pittsburgh, and I am excited to see the city and the rink. It is a great hockey city and it should be a great place to host the Draft. I feel as if it is an unpredictable draft with all of the great players, but then again all drafts are unpredictable. I'm just looking forward to enjoying the time with my family, friends and teammates.

Follow Jacob Trouba on Twitter at: @JacobTrouba

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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 2:36 PM

By Jacob Trouba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Jacob Trouba draft blog

Trouba wraps up his NHL Combine experience

Hi all. Well, the NHL Scouting Combine is over for me.

I had a weird dream last night about NTDP defenseman Pat Sieloff hitting some guy in the head with a baseball bat. That's a true story, and I don't know how it happened, but I lost a little sleep over that. I woke up and ate a little breakfast before coming over [to the Toronto International Centre] and was a bit nervous. When you get here and can hear them yelling by the bike test, my blood pressure was probably a little higher than it should have been.

I think while I was in the early stages of the testing, I tried to focus on what I was doing and try to block everything else out. There are a lot of people watching you so I was just trying to do what I could. I thought doing the bench press right after push-ups was probably the toughest thing. I had to do push-ups, to vertical jump and right to bench, so I was a little fatigued.

I did some of these exercises at the NTDP, but I'm not smart to do all the conversions in my head. Some are easier than others, but they don't really give you answers while you're taking the test.

When it came to the Wingate test, I just got up on the bike and looked around and took everything in. It was cool with everything hanging up, and then I started pedaling and they're screaming at you and you just have to keep going. I think that was a pretty tough test coming in because you're just cold. Right after, I was dead. I wasn't really pedaling for the last five seconds. Personally, I didn't think having a guy screaming at me to motivate me to keep going didn't really help. I'm not really a guy who needs to get angry; I'm more of a guy who can focus and be calm. But it's something you're going to have to deal with playing in buildings with 20,000-plus people, so might as well get used to it.

After that test, I had a 20-minute break and sat in a room and was just dead tired. But it was tough because you knew you had to do another grueling thing and that was the toughest part of the whole day -- knowing I had to do another bike test [VO2 Max]. Once you're out of there, though, you just know you have to keep pedaling. That's all you're really doing. I thought the end of the VO2 was harder than the Wingate, but the beginning was easier because you got to build your way up, so I think it was easier on the legs and on the lungs. But in the end, you're totally empty.

Overall, it was a memory I'll take with me forever. In between bike tests, I was sitting in the room with Ryan Murray and we were both tired and talking to each other saying, 'What are we doing?' That was pretty cool because that was the first time I ever met him and it's nice to get to know everybody you're going up against and going through this with. They're all nice guys and we're all going through the same thing.

But it's over now. I'll probably head home and work out and do the same stuff, but I'm through with the Combine so now I can kind of enjoy the Draft. I'll have a lot of people coming and it'll be nice to share the Draft experience with everyone that has supported me through all this. Thanks for reading everyone!

Follow Jacob Trouba at: @jacobtrouba

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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 7:00 AM

By Jacob Trouba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Jacob Trouba draft blog

Trouba joins Matteau for some fun in Ontario

Jacob Trouba is a defenseman for the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program of the United States Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 193-pound native of Rochester, Mich., was the youngest player on the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2012 World Junior Championship in Edmonton and Calgary, Alta. He also won his second straight gold medal for Team USA at the Under-18 World Championship in Czech Republic, connecting for one goal, three points and a plus-5 rating in six games. Trouba has agreed to give fans a players' perspective while attending the 2012 NHL Combine, scheduled May 28-June 2, by blogging his experiences.

Before I even had to start thinking about the fitness test on Friday, I had a great opportunity to join teammate Stefan Matteau on Wednesday for a fun night out at the Playdium in Mississauga.

Thanks to NHL.com for arranging the trip and I think a video is being made documenting our trip, so it's possible we'll get to relive the memories on NHL.com sometime soon. The Playdium is like a Dave & Buster's Arcade kind of place with lots of different things to do. If was fun … like being a kid again.

It was just good to get out of the hotel for a couple of hours and have some fun. Not that interviewing with NHL teams wasn't fun but, well, you get the idea.

The go-karts were alright. My car stopped halfway through so I got lapped by Matteau and he loved that. But the final camera angle has me in front of Matteau, even though he really lapped me. But that's fine with me because now it looks like I won -- and it's on tape.
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 7:53 AM

By Jacob Trouba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Jacob Trouba draft blog

Trouba offers insight into NHL Combine

Jacob Trouba is a defenseman for the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program of the United States Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 193-pound native of Rochester, Mich., was the youngest player on the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2012 World Junior Championship in Edmonton and Calgary, Alta. He also won his second straight gold medal for Team USA at the Under-18 World Championship in Czech Republic, connecting for one goal, three points and a plus-5 rating in six games. Trouba has agreed to give fans a players' perspective while attending the 2012 NHL Combine, scheduled May 28-June 2, by maintaining a blog of his experiences. Check back often.

Hi everyone. I just concluded my first day of interviews here at the NHL Combine in Toronto. I have 21 interviews scheduled -- 10 of those were on Tuesday.

I must say that each team is different. Some are laid back and some are intense. You get hot in those rooms, that's for sure! The one question that really got me was 'What is success?' I wasn't really prepared for that, so that was one I really had to think about. Boston gave a test that involved colors that was pretty hard and I messed up a lot on that.

It was all cool though, but I was certainly nervous at the start. In the morning, I woke up and spilled toothpaste all over my shirt … so I had to change shirts. That's one shirt down. I think tomorrow will be a lot better because I'll know what to expect. It's something you don't get to do every day, so you just have to have fun with it. Wednesday [six interviews] will be a lot easier.

I know a lot of the guys are thinking about the fitness tests and while I am too, I just feel like I'll be able to rely on the hard work I put in the last two years [with the NTDP] to get me through these tests and show what I have. I didn't work that hard for nothing. I think, historically, the NTDP guys have done well at these tests, and a big reason for that is because of what the program has you do. That's the type of work I've put in the last two years in the program.

On Tuesday night, a few of the NTDP guys got together with several of the Swedish players (Filip Forsberg, Oscar Dansk and Ludwig Bystrom) and we went out to dinner. It was pretty cool.

Until next time …

Follow Jacob Trouba on Twitter at: @JacobTrouba

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Posted On Thursday, 05.24.2012 / 11:41 AM

By Jacob Trouba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Jacob Trouba draft blog

Top draft prospect Jacob Trouba set for NHL Combine

Jacob Trouba is a defenseman for the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program of the United States Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 193-pound native of Rochester, Mich., was the youngest player on the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2012 World Junior Championship in Edmonton and Calgary, Alta. He also won his second straight gold medal for Team USA at the Under-18 World Championship in Czech Republic, connecting for one goal, three points and a plus-5 rating in six games. Trouba has agreed to give fans a players' perspective while attending the 2012 NHL Combine, scheduled May 28-June 2, by blogging his experiences for NHL.com.

Since the hockey season officially ended when we (the U.S. National Under-18 Team) skated to a 7-0 victory over Sweden for the gold, I've been working hard to stay in shape. It was important for me to continue my normal routine with lifting. And I've added a little bit more running to my workout on top of that. At this point, I think whatever I've done in the past month won't drastically change my scores at the NHL Scouting Combine. I'm relying on the work I've put in the last two years at the National Team Development Program to help me through these drills.

I'm really looking forward to the experience of participating in something I've worked so hard for (the Combine) since I knew I wanted to be a pro hockey player. It's an honor to be invited to this event and it is something few people get to do. I want to soak it all in because it will be a memory I hold with me the rest of my life. I want to show everyone what I can do at these tests. It should be fun; a challenge.

I've heard some horror stories about the bike test, but despite all of the talk, it's not keeping me up at night. I'm actually looking forward to it. I can't worry about it. That's not me. At the end of the day, I have little control over who picks me in the draft. Whether I go early or not, I'm still going to be the same player I was going into the draft. What excites me most is the opportunity to meet a lot of cool people along the way. Because in the end, it's all about the experience!

Follow Jacob Trouba on Twitter at: @jacobtrouba

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.08.2012 / 9:01 AM

By Jacob Trouba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Jacob Trouba draft blog

Trouba recaps gold medal at U18 World Championship

Jacob Trouba is a defenseman for the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program of the United States Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 193-pound native of Rochester, Mich., was the youngest player on the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2012 World Junior Championship  in Edmonton and Calgary, Alta. He also won his second straight gold medal for Team USA at the Under-18 World Championship in Czech Republic, connecting for one goal, three points and a plus-5 rating in six games. Trouba took some time to discuss his season and anticipation of the upcoming NHL Draft in his monthly blog for NHL.com.

Well, it has been quite a memorable season.

Playing in the Under-18 World Championship was a great time and definitely worth all the stuff you go through for two years at the program to get that feeling in the end. The exhibition game [loss to Sweden] was a tough for our team because I thought we played pretty well and had a couple mistakes and they capitalized. But going through the round-robin, I thought we played well and [goalie Collin Olson] had a really good tournament and shut the door. Our defense played well and our forwards were plugging the net.

Prior to our gold medal game [against Sweden], I kind of prepared like it was just another game, but it's not. You only get so many gold medal opportunities. But everyone knows what their playing for and what they've worked for the last two years. It was a wild game and just a cool way to end it [7-0 win] after two years.
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Posted On Wednesday, 02.22.2012 / 1:21 PM

By Jacob Trouba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Jacob Trouba draft blog

USNTDP's Trouba talks Five Nations and HWAA

The 2011-12 season is going well thus far.

If nothing else, it has been a lot of fun. We recently went through a little adversity at the 2012 Five Nations Tournament in Finland. We lost back-to-back games to Sweden and Finland but responded well with a 3-0 win over Russia to take third place. It's a wake up call for this team, but I was very proud to see how we regrouped against a strong Russian team.

We have to take what we learned there and apply it throughout the rest of the year as we head toward our main goal of winning gold at the 2012 World Under-18 Championship in the Czech Republic. All-in-all, the Five Nations Tournament was awesome. Spending a week in Finland was a pretty cool experience. All the teams that competed (Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden) were good and we are looking forward to seeing them again at the U18 World Championship.

Personally, my season is progressing along nicely. It has been great getting back with the boys at the National Team Development Program after spending time at the 2012 World Junior Championship in Canada. While my teammate and friend, Seth Jones, and I were gone, the U.S. National Under-18 Team played a stretch of Division-I games that included ties with Boston University and the University of Wisconsin and a win over Northeastern University. Those results were great to see while I was gone.

The penalty-kill has always been a strong point on this team. Coach Danton Cole has taught us the right way to play and defend and its something we take pride in. I love being out there killing penalties. It is a challenge and a good penalty kill can really change the momentum of a game. The most important thing to remember are stops and starts in straight lines, having an active stick and when you have a chance to jump on a guy and take away time and space, do it. We are always learning here at the NTDP and it's great to have the guidance of our coaching staff.

After coming back from the WJC, I felt more confident as a player. The level of competition throughout my time with the U20 Team was high and I played alongside a lot of great players. When we started, I had to adjust my game a bit as play moved faster. At that level, you have to make quicker reads and execute plays at a fast pace. The most important lesson I learned at WJC was not to take any opportunity for granted. When I saw I was invited to camp, I knew I was going to battle for a position on the blueline. Once I showed that I belonged, I wanted to prove to everyone that I deserved a roster spot.

I've never looked too far into draft rankings. I didn't at the start of the season and I'm not checking now. It's great to be recognized for my work on the ice, but to me, I'm more focused on getting better and making my team better. We have a very short time to prepare for the U18 World Championship, and I do my best to keep everyone focused on what matters now ... winning a gold medal for our country. That being said, I'd be honored to have my name called on draft day and look forward to sharing that experience with my family and teammates.

USA Hockey's Hockey Weekend Across America just concluded and I'm a big fan of the event. I think HWAA was great for the sport of hockey and everyone involved with it. We were fortunate enough to be profiled by NBC and I was interviewed for a segment that aired on Hockey Day in America. It was an honor to be featured and people got a chance to see what the NTDP is like behind-the-scenes.

Thanks for reading this month.

Follow Jacob Trouba on Twitter at: @jacobtrouba

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Posted On Thursday, 01.05.2012 / 9:00 AM

By Jacob Trouba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Jacob Trouba draft blog

Jacob Trouba checks in from WJC

Jacob Trouba is a defenseman for the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program of the United States Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 194-pound native of Rochester, Mich., was the youngest player on the U.S. National Junior Team roster in Edmonton and Calgary, Alta. While the U.S. team finished seventh at the World Junior Championship, Trouba was regarded as one of the team's steadiest blueliners. Following the team's 2-1 victory over Switzerland in its final game of the relegation round, Trouba completed his January blog entry for NHL.com.

Hi everyone. Coming to you from the press room at the Saddledome where we just finished our final game of the World Junior Championship.

The World Junior Championship was definitely a great tournament. I was coming in here as a younger guy and didn't really know what to expect. I just wanted to blend in at first and get to know what I was doing and get to know where I was going. Once I got the hang of it, I discovered that it's still hockey no matter who you're playing or with. You're still playing the same way, so it wasn't that big of a change.

Once I figured that out, it really helped me. Being with this team and these guys really helped me out. They took me under their wing and it's something I'll remember for the rest of my life and something I'll use for next year. [Jarred] Tinordi and [Jon] Merrill really helped me and it wasn't so much asking them things but just by watching them and how they do things. I kind of did what they did because they are solid defenders.

We have big expectations for next year and we'll come back stronger and win a gold medal.

There were some games that I started off slow, but I felt I played pretty well for the most part. I've done what my role is on the team. Entering camp, I felt like USA Hockey needed a physical defenseman and that's kind of what I wanted to focus on mentally and physically because [Jon] Merrill, [Jarred] Tinordi and [Adam] Clendening could do the offensive side, that's what they're good at. I was keying on being physical but during the tournament, I got comfortable doing other things, so that really helped.

Our game against Canada [a 3-2 loss on New Year's Eve] was a real fun one to play in. If you can't get up for that, quit hockey!

During the Canada game, I felt good and felt confident out there, making plays when I could. I thought I held my own and it was a good game. We fought hard to the end which was good, but still didn't come out with the win. Before the game, coach Dean Blais told us that even though we were out of the medal round, we were still playing for our country and that's something many people in our position want to do. So we had to take pride in it no matter if we were playing the last-place game or the gold medal game. We're still representing something, so that's who we needed to play for.

Finally, I just wanted to say how honored it was to be playing in the game that goalie Jack Campbell would earn the record for most wins by an American goalie at the World Junior Championship. Jack is the nicest guy you'd ever meet. He deserves that mark. He'll come out after every period and thank the defensemen. He's such a great guy and I'm really proud I was in that [2-1 victory over Switzerland] because he really deserved that."

You can follow me on twitter at: @jacobtrouba, and stay up on the U18 NTDP and our road to the U18 World Championship. Thanks for reading and check back next month.
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Posted On Saturday, 12.24.2011 / 1:20 PM

By Jacob Trouba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Jacob Trouba draft blog

Trouba excited to represent U.S. at 2012 WJC

Hello everyone and happy holidays!

I don’t know where to begin as I’ve had a busy couple of weeks and months. We at the U.S. National Under-18 Team have taken a short break from the collegiate competition we’ve been facing to take on a slew of games in the United States Hockey League. We had some ground to make up in the standings and went 4-1-1 in our most recent stretch. The U.S. National Under-17 Team went 3-1-1 and it seems as if both teams are coming together quite nicely.

Away from the rink, National Team Development Program staff and players all participated in the Salvation Army bell ringing campaign throughout Ann Arbor, Mich. in early December. This is a great time for us to give back to the community and bond off the ice. Each location has a friendly competition to see who raises the most money and we do our best to fundraise by singing carols (we are not the best of singers…but we get an “A” for effort), doing cartwheels and such and helping people with their groceries. We always have a good time and it’s for a good cause.
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Quote of the Day

He seemed to thrive on his own and didn't really need any push from me. I certainly don't want to get in the way of the coaches. You see how that goes sometimes. I never really worried about it and just enjoyed the ride.

— David Ekblad on his son's [Aaron Ekblad] journey to the NHL, signing with the Florida Panthers