As a native of Michigan, draft-eligible defenseman and top prospect Jacob Trouba of the U.S. National Team Development Program rarely missed an opportunity to watch Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom at work.
When Trouba got word that Lidstrom was calling it a career after 20 seasons in the League on Thursday, he expressed much respect and admiration for one of the greatest defensemen to ever lace on the skates.
"Growing up in the Detroit area, watching him play, is something a lot of kids don't get to do, but I did," Trouba told NHL.com. "It was just how he always handled himself. I really respected how he never really wanted to be the center of attention, but was always 'The Guy' on the ice. That was something really cool. He's a star in this League, but never really acted like a star, and that's probably the biggest thing I admired in him."
Trouba, who could one day be a star on defense in his own right, is in Toronto for the NHL Scouting Combine this week. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound blue liner is ranked No. 9 by NHL Central Scouting among North American skaters. He's projected by many to be a top 10 pick in this year's NHL Draft on June 22-23.
Trouba, born in Rochester, Mich., was asked about Lidstrom's longevity and consistency in the League.
"That's pretty crazy [to play 20 seasons], but he was always in the right position and never got himself into bad spots to get hurt or get caught," Trouba said. "There's a reason he played that long."
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