One could argue that Jacob Trouba, still a rookie and still just 19-years old, is the best defenceman on the Winnipeg Jets. While you wouldn’t get that admission out of his teammates just yet, they do speak of the “kid” in only the highest of regards.
“The most impressive thing is how well he has done in our zone,” says Blake Wheeler. “For a 19-year old to come in and play top penalty kill minutes, he is out there at the end of the game, he is running people over, he is strong in our defensive zone and makes smart plays. You almost can’t believe what he is able to do.
“With that being said, you look to the future and some of those offensive numbers that you know he is going to get because he has such great hockey sense — he has such a great shot from the point — you feel fortunate to have a guy like that, at such a young age, doing the things he is doing.”
Mark Stuart, perhaps better qualified when it comes to talking about defence, praises the confidence that Trouba possesses.
“For him, he kind of came in with that confidence already built it,” said Jets defenceman Mark Stuart. “Most guys come in and try and build that as they go but I think he was already a step ahead because he already had that confidence going for him.”
Jets’ captain Andrew Ladd adds that Trouba is an “easy-going” guy off the ice.
“Nothing really seems to bug him, he just enjoys playing hockey and coming to the rink everyday,” he said. “Especially for a young guy, to not let your mistakes get to you is a big thing and I think he has done a great job at that.”
The young Trouba is just taking everything in stride in his first season in the National Hockey League.
“I have had a lot of practice brushing off bad shifts in my life,” he said. “You can’t really dwell on the bad shift that you had because you know you have to be right back out there and you got to worry about that.
“In the end, I mess up, I know I mess up and kind of forget about it and I’ll worry about it after the game.”
Trouba credits his teammates and the coaches for keeping him on the straight and narrow.
“It’s been pretty smooth so far, besides the neck thing,” Trouba said with a smirk.