Collegiate hockey was making headlines for all the wrong reasons this past summer when three players opted out of their previous commitments and another decided to part ways after one season in the NCAA ranks for the Canadian Hockey League.
Three players drafted in the first round of the 2011 Entry Draft, including Jamie Oleksiak (No. 14 overall, Dallas Stars), J.T. Miller (No. 15, New York Rangers) and Connor Murphy (No. 20, Phoenix Coyotes) and second round pick John Gibson (No. 39, Anaheim Ducks) all had college commitments but changed their minds and instead felt the Canadian junior level was a better fit. Oleksiak had just completed his first season at Northeastern.
Needless to say, when defenseman Jacob Trouba of the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program on Monday announced via Twitter he would continue his career at the University of Michigan in the fall of 2012, the first question on everyone's mind was just how committed he is to play for Red Berenson next season.
"I plan on fulfilling my commitment to the University of Michigan," Trouba told NHL.com. "My parents have taught me to follow through on all commitments I make in life. I'm excited to wear the maize and blue, but right now I'm focused on representing my country and working towards another successful season with my team at the NTDP."
There was speculation that the Rochester, Mich., native would make the jump to the Canadian Hockey League following his first season with the USNTDP U-18 team this campaign. Trouba was chosen in the third round of the Ontario Hockey League's priority selection by the Kitchener Rangers.
"I chose Michigan for a number of reasons, both on and off the ice," Trouba said. "After visiting the campus, I got a great sense of what the hockey program means to the school. It's a great fit for me and I know I'll get along great with my teammates.
"Having the opportunity to play in front of my family was also a big factor in my decision making as I'm very close to them."
In 2010-11, Trouba played 37 games for the U-17 NTDP team and registered 6 goals, 19 points and 35 penalty minutes before being promoted to the U-18 team for the final 21 games of the season.
"The (Michigan) facilities and coaching staff are known throughout the hockey community and I believe they are the best around," Trouba said. "Yost is an awesome rink to play in with a great atmosphere. School was also a big part of my decision. I know hockey will end one day and it was important to know I’d be receiving a great education in addition to playing hockey."
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale