Previous Rank: 4th
Jacob Trouba jumped into the NHL at 19 years of age and had himself a wonderful season. Trouba quickly earned the trust of coaches and this saw him log big minutes at critical points of the game. Trouba led all rookies in per game ice time. He was also a top offensive producer.
Apart from an early season injury and layoff, Trouba's rookie year went about as well as anybody could have hoped. That said, he is not yet a finished product. Trouba will need to find more consistency and prove that he can handle the rigors of a full 82 game season.
The sky is the limit with this kid, but nothing is ever given. Trouba will have to continue to round out his game. If he does, he could find himself atop the Winnipeg Jets' defensive depth chart in short order. He is already likely applying pressure on his friend and roommate Zach Bogosian to be the Jets' top right-side defenseman.
AIH Authors' Thoughts:
Trouba does many things at a plus level. His skating is quick and effective with little wasted movement. He can shoot, he can hit and he thinks the game at a high level. There is little that Jacob Trouba can't do and even at 19 he was able to do these things at a high level in the NHL, but he isn't a finished product. Trouba needs to find more consistency in his decision making, this could lift his game from plus to elite. Adding some more mass would also help his physical game. Trouba relies heavily on instincts and being physically dominant; add some more size and quicker, more consistent decisions and there is clear all star potential here.
I like Trouba. I want to see more sample of Trouba away from Stuart though... mostly for my own selfish reasons in studying and analyzing.
I have to say, I do not suspect that shooting percentage to stay that high, but I do suspect Trouba to get better to make up for it.
In a season without a lot to get excited about, Jacob Trouba was one of the few bright spots. Trouba is a strong skater, strong positionally, strong physically, and has high-end skill. In short, Trouba displayed elite potential and is one of the best defensive prospects in the game. He's not there yet, but last season was a strong start.
This season, Trouba will likely begin as the team's second pairing RD and if all goes well, he could potentially supplant Zach Bogosian as the team's top RD before the season's over. I expect that he'll likely see increased power-play ice time as well, and with solid performance on the power play, Jacob Trouba could make one of Dustin Byfuglien or Zach Bogosian a lot more expendable.
I think Trouba was the lone bright spot last year. He basically came in and was the player we were hoping Bogosian was going to be. He was incredible for a rookie and if he continues to work on his body as well as his decision making I don't see any reason why he can't become one of the league's elite defensemen. Potential captain for the Jets down the road and the surest thing we have to a franchise cornerstone.
If Trouba keeps progressing, he has elite potential. His neck/back issue at World Championships will hopefully not become a bigger problem. Trouba has had to play alongside Mark Stuart, making his numbers all the more impressive. This year the Jets need Trouba to continue to develop and not take any steps backwards because after Trouba and Tobias Enstrom, the defence is questionable at best.
This kid has All Star or even Hall of Fame potential. He played 25 minutes and was 1st star in his NHL debut. Even before his debut he pushed Ian White off the roster, who was brought in just in case. Trouba's ability also pushed Buff to forward. This kid is the real deal.
Pilot's logbook: Jacob Trouba
2013 Top 25 Under 25: Jacob Trouba