All week leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Friday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.
Jacob Trouba (D)
Height: 6’2 Weight: 193 Shoots: Right
Team: U.S. National Development Program
Country: United States
NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 9 among North American skaters
What kind of player is he?
Trouba has all the “measurables” teams look for in a blueliner. He’s a a strong skater (despite almost giving up on it when he was four), throws his sizable frame around and can contribute offensively as well.
Trouba needs to polish his overall game, though, and one of the chief criticisms is that he needs to “refine” his defensive decision-making.
Of note, his favorite video game is “Super Monkey Ball.” You know that now. There’s no un-knowing it.
“He’s got good size, he’s got good skill. He plays a pretty solid two-way game and he probably plays with a little more edge than some of the other (defensive prospects) that are bigger point producers.
“I think that’s part of his appeal, that he plays the game well at both ends of the ice and plays with a little more edge and assertiveness than some of the other guys do.” — Carolina Hurricanes director of amateur scouting Tony MacDonald.
More draft profiles:
Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.
On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.
But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.
The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.
Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.
Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.
Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”