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Jacob Trouba of Jets rescinds trade request

Defenseman says he's committed to Winnipeg after signing two-year contract

by Scott Billeck / Correspondent

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba rescinded his trade request Tuesday, one day after signing a two-year contract.

Trouba, 22, had asked for a trade through his agent, Kurt Overhardt, on Sept. 24, citing a desire to play on the right side, his natural side.

"I've committed to signing here for two years," Trouba said. "When I signed that piece of paper, everything changes in my mind. I'm now part of this team and whatever I'm asked to do for these next two years while I'm under contract is what I'm going to do.

"I want to play hockey. I'm a hockey player and I'm extremely happy to be back in the locker room and playing hockey. That's what I love to do. I think that's what every hockey player dreams of, is playing in the NHL, and I have the opportunity to do that."

Video: Cheveldayoff talks Trouba, Jets on NHL Tonight

Trouba took part in the morning skate Tuesday but will not play against the Dallas Stars at MTS Centre (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, FS-SW+, NHL.TV). Coach Paul Maurice said Trouba could play as early as Thursday at the Arizona Coyotes, and will consider playing him on the left and right sides.

"I think that all goes out the window when I signed that piece of paper," said Trouba, who will make $2.5 million this season and $3.5 million in 2017-18. "It's about this team now and what I can do to help this team and whatever I'm asked to do is what I'm willing to do."

Maurice made it clear where Trouba will play. 

"He's going to play defense for the Winnipeg Jets," Maurice said. "Same place where he finished off [last season]."

Maurice has liked the play of his defenseman in Trouba's absence, but said he probably had to play Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers more than he would have liked.

Tweet from @NHLJets: #NHLJets head coach Paul Maurice on Trouba's return, and updates on the injured players on the roster ahead of tonight's game vs Dallas.

Despite rescinding his trade request, Trouba said he didn't regret sitting out the first 13 games of the season. 

"The statement I made at the time was how I felt," Trouba said. "It was something I wanted to see through, I owed it to myself to see it through. 

"There's another side to the NHL that isn't hockey, it's the business side. No one really enjoys it or likes it but it's nature of this game.

"That's just what I decided to do. For personal choices, that can stay between me, my agent and [the Jets]. I did what I thought was best for my future. Things change over time. I want to be a hockey player and I'm truly honored to be here."

Trouba was seen smiling and chatting with teammates during Winnipeg's pregame skate. Asked if he thinks there will be any ill-will toward him from some of his teammates or the fans, Trouba said he hoped not. 

"I hope teammates welcome me back," he said. "I understand if there are some hard feelings and if anybody wants to talk to me, I hope they feel welcome to do that. We are all trying to accomplish the same thing in this locker room.

"[The fans] can form their own opinions. It was never against them or the city. I understand if they're frustrated." 

Jets captain Blake Wheeler said he gave Trouba a hug and told him, "Welcome back."

"I know there aren't any hard feelings," Wheeler said. "We're excited to have Jacob back. He's one of the more popular guys in our room. Throughout this whole process, the majority of guys were keeping in touch with him to see how he's doing. It was exciting to hear the news yesterday."

The Jets selected Trouba with the No. 9 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. He had six goals, 21 points and a plus-10 rating in 81 games last season.

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