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.
I learned a lot from coach Danton Cole this year. He's very intense and that's something I think I needed coming into the NTDP program. It's something I needed to take advantage of; he really wants to win and get the best out of his players and he won't stop until he gets that.
Right now, I'm working out and am finishing up high school in my hometown. I haven't entirely starting preparing for the NHL Combine, but I'm looking forward to it. It should be fun and it should be a good time.
The Combine will be good because I'll be going with four of my teammates for the NTDP [Patrick Sieloff, Nicolas Kerdiles, Stefan Matteau and Brady Skjei]. Those are the guys who push you to get better all year and it's nice that everyone will get rewarded for what they put in the last two years.
One teammate who won't be joining us but who will certainly be a high draft pick in 2013 is defenseman Seth Jones. He's a special player. Watching what he does and how he acts, he's going to have a long and special career. I've never seen [top 2013 draft prospect] Nathan MacKinnon play, but from watching Seth, I definitely think he'll contend for the No. 1 overall next year.
You can follow me on twitter at: @jacobtrouba. Thanks for reading and check back next month.