When Jacob Trouba departed the University of Michigan last year to go pro, the biggest question surrounding him was how soon he’d crack the Winnipeg Jets roster.
The answer may be this season.
Jets coach Claude Noel is playing it cool when talking about his play in the preseason, but he’s liking what he sees from the rookie defenseman as Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press reports.
“For a 19-year-old player I think he makes good decisions, he plays hard, he plays a lot of minutes and makes a lot of good decisions,” said the Jets’ boss. “There’s some good stability in his game.”
Winnipeg does have a crowded group on defense. Obviously Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom are guarantees, as are Zach Bogosian, Mark Stuart, and Grant Clitsome.
That sixth spot though? That’s up for grabs and Trouba has to compete with Adam Pardy and Paul Postma for that. Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press says to give Trouba (and rookie teammate Mark Scheifele) their shot to succeed right away.
Trouba’s shown he’s got the skills from his play at last year’s World Junior Championships. If he can hang with the big boys, suddenly Winnipeg’s defense doesn’t look too shabby at all.
Brad Stuart wasn’t on the ice for the first game of his two-year, $7.2 million contract and it had nothing to do with his health.
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy felt Stuart simply wasn’t one of the six best defensemen in training camp and consequently he wasn’t in the lineup, per the Denver Post.
“Things could change for the next game,” Roy offered. “Like I said (Wednesday), we’re going to use those eight D all year long. (Last night was) just the first game of the season.”
Perhaps, but it’s still a terrible indicator, especially given that Stuart will turn 36 on Nov. 6. Stuart is a veteran of over 1,000 games, but now the question is if he has enough left in the tank to provide Colorado with much value.
The Avalanche also scratched defenseman Brandon Gormley, who was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliott. The hope was that both players would benefit from the change in scenery. Gormley was taken with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in 32 career NHL games.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
In a survey of 29 beat writers, the Anaheim Ducks emerged as the clear favorite to win the Stanley Cup. If you’ll recall, they have that in common with the EA Sports simulation. (Boston Globe)
Alex Ovechkin would pick an Olympic hit against Jaromir Jagr as the biggest check of his life. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
Here are the highlights from Minnesota’s 5-4 victory over Colorado:
The Montreal Canadiens seem committed to using Alex Galchenyuk as a center throughout the 2015-16 campaign. (The Canadian Press)
The NHL recently enlisted its players to read off some not so mean tweets. (USA Today)
Bills coach Rex Ryan talked about the Sabres in Thursday’s press conference. (NHL.com)
Frederik Andersen may have the Anaheim Ducks’ starting job for now, but with John Gibson still a big part of their plans, Andersen has to keep proving himself. (Orange County Register)