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.