Out of the 105 prospects that attended the 2012 NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto during the first week of June, it was hard to ignore NHL Central Scouting’s ninth-overall ranked defenceman, Jacob Trouba. Although there is no way of knowing who the Winnipeg Jets will select with their ninth-overall pick, we wanted to shed some light on the 18-year-old from Auburn Hills (Rochester), Michigan.
|Jacob Trouba (left) holds thetrophy after their final victory over Sweden at th 2012 IIHF ice hockey U18 World Championships. |
Trouba is coming off of his second season with the USA National Development Program in the USHL. He played 50 games, recording 9 goals and 22 assists with 65 penalty minutes. He represented the USA at the 2012 U20 and U18 World Junior Championship tournaments, winning USA’s fourth straight gold medal at the U18 level. With the USA U20 team in Calgary, he had two assists and was -1 in six games as the Americans finished seventh.
Next year, Trouba has committed to play with Michigan State (NCAA).
“Overall, it was an exciting year with all of the tournaments I got to play in and the opportunities that I got,” Trouba told media at the NHL Scouting Combine. “I’ve had fun and have made the most of it. It’s been a cool year with the draft and everything, I’m just taking it all in.
“There are no breaks in the National Building program. You’re there working hard and you don’t really have a choice but to get better or else you’re going to be gone, so they push you and I think it’s good.”
It’s no secret that the interview process and the physical testing is hardly a cakewalk. Most of the players in attendance have never been through anything quite as rigorous or demanding as these tests.
|Trouba gets body fat measured at the 2012 NHL Scouting Combine. |
“I didn’t really train specifically for anything,” admit Trouba. “I am who I am and am reliant on the last two years of work that I’ve put in. I think it paid off. I gave it my all and I had a good time.
“I’ve done a ten-ton test which is when you’re on a 10-incline on the treadmill at 10 miles-per-hour and you go until you fall off. It gets pretty tough and we do that twice a year.”
The 2012 NHL Draft Class is full of top-ranked defencemen. Being able to stand out among some of the best in the class is easier said then done. With the draft just a couple of weeks away, Trouba says he’s not looking too deep into it.
“I think it’s cool being a part of this group of ‘D’ because there are a lot of special defencemen that will play for a long time.
“It’s something cool to be a part of, but its only step one,” he added. “Once you get drafted it’s not the last step- it’s the first step, and you’re back working harder after that to get to your goal of playing in the NHL."
Only time will tell who, where and when Jacob Trouba will go in the 2012 NHL Draft, and he may or may not be on the Jets’ radar. Like most draft-eligible players, Trouba just wants his name to be called.
“I’ve never really looked into the rankings at all,” he said. “You’re going to be the same player coming out of the draft as you were going in. Staying true to myself and continuing to work hard is what I’ve really focused on.
“It’s going to be an honour to get drafted anywhere, I just want to enjoy the whole process and wherever I end up... I end up, and I’ll be happy with it.”
Author: Kristi Hennessy/ winnipegjets.com