PITTSBURGH — It went exactly as the Winnipeg Jets hoped when they selected defenceman Jacob Trouba from the U.S. Development team in tonight’s first-round of the NHL entry draft in Pittsburgh.
"It’s awesome," said Trouba. "Just to be part of an NHL team is a pretty cool thing and the Jets are a great team, a great history. I’m glad to be apart of it."
One pick before them, the Pittsburgh Penguins chose defenceman Derrick Pouliot, acquiring the pick from Carolina in the big Jordan Staal trade.
When that selection was made — even though there was a commerical break that lasted nearly 10 minutes — the Winnipeg table knew immediately what it would do, pulling out a jersey ready-made for Trouba.
So what does the newest Jet know about his future home?
"It’s a great city and pretty cold," said Trouba. "I’ll have to get my boots out."
The Jets stuck to their ninth pick in the first round, clearly getting no offers that enthused them to go up or down tonight.
Trouba, an 18-year-old from Rochester, Mich., is both physical and a good skater, according to scouting reports. He’s 6-2, 196 pounds.
"I think I’m a pretty physical player who can also bring the offensive side of the game as well," said Trouba.
He expects to attend the University of Michigan in the fall as opposed to playing for Kitchener, the OHL team that has his rights.
"My plan is definitely to be a Wolverine," said Trouba. "It’s what i had my mind set on and it was one of my goals. That’s what I want to do."
He also knows what he has to do to reach his ultimate goal: the NHL.
"I need to get bigger and stronger," said Trouba. "That’s the biggest thing. I need to get be stronger to play at the next level."
It’s GM Kevin Cheveldayoff’s second first-round choice. The team’s chief hockey executive was hired only 16 days before last year’s entry draft in Minnesota when he chose Mark Schiefele with the No. 7 pick.
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