Tracking the Storm

Draft Profile: Jacob Trouba

Thursday, 06.21.2012 / 3:00 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Draft Profile: Jacob Trouba
Each weekday leading up to the 2012 NHL Draft on June 22, CarolinaHurricanes.com will profile one player we believe might be available for Carolina’s eighth pick. Previous Profiles: Cody Ceci | Mathew Dumba | Radek Faksa | Filip Forsberg | Alex Galchenyuk | Mikhail Grigorenko | Olli Maatta | Griffin Reinhart | Morgan Rielly | Teuvo Teravainen | Related Links: 2012 NHL Draft Preview | Hurricanes Draft History





USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program has found recent success grooming young defensemen to be National Hockey League-ready shortly after their draft date.

Michael Smith
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Justin Faulk is a good testament to that.

Jacob Trouba wants to be the next.

Committed to the University of Michigan for the 2012-13 season, Trouba is a product of the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program of the United States Hockey League.

“He falls right into that group, and that program has done a great job of training defensemen and forwards but more defensemen in the past few years,” said Tony MacDonald, the head of amateur scouting for the Carolina Hurricanes. “That’s the case this year. They’ve got two or three solid kids back there on the blue line.”

Trouba’s two-way defensive game is highly regarded among scouts, and the NHL’s Central Scouting Service ranked the 6-foot-2, 193-pound blueliner ninth among North American skaters. Many speak in favor of his physical game, noting that his athleticism, size and skating ability (exceptional considering his size) make him a rugged force to contain not only in the defensive zone, but all over the ice. He can also easily separate an attacking player from the puck, especially along the boards.

JACOB TROUBA
DEFENSEMAN
HOMETOWN: ROCHESTER, MI
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 193
BIRTHDAY: FEB. 26, 1994 (AGE 18)

“He’s a big guy. He skates real well, and he has cannon for a shot,” MacDonald said. “He competes hard and competes with an edge.”

That hard-nosed edge helped Trouba be an anchor on the United States’ blueline in both the Under-18 World Junior Championship and the World Juniors. Trouba and Team USA captured their second straight gold medal in the Under-18 tournament with a commanding 7-0 win over Sweden. The Rochester, Michigan native recorded a goal, 3 points and a plus-five rating in six games. Just a few months earlier, Trouba was the youngest player named to Team USA’s 2012 World Junior squad. He notched just 2 assists in the tournament, but was noted as one of the team's best players.

In turn, being pitted against older, stronger opponents helped Trouba polish his defensive game. He isn’t a flashy defender, but it’s hard not to notice his reliable play in his own zone. This is part of what makes him a projected top-two defenseman and such an attractive top-10 option on draft day.

As if the Hurricanes would need another reason to take a good look at Trouba, here’s one: familiarity. He already has somewhat of a tie to the organization, as he grew up playing youth hockey in the Compuware program in Michigan. Playing locally, he idolized the recently-retired Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.

Now 18 years old, Trouba first skated when he was four. He hated the experience, but his dad was persistent and kept him on skates. Safe to say it paid off. Tomorrow, he will fulfill a dream and have his name called in the first round.



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72