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.
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