The Winnipeg Jets’ battered blueline got one step closer to full strength on Sunday, as Jacob Trouba got the green light to play again.
Whether Trouba figures into Monday night’s road game against the New Jersey Devils will be a game-day decision, head coach Claude Noel said after his squad practiced at MTS Iceplex on Sunday morning. But the Jets were comfortable enough with his status to send 21-year-old defenceman Julian Melchiori back to the St. John’s IceCaps on Sunday.
Trouba hasn’t played since Oct. 18 against St. Louis, when he flew face-first into the MTS Centre boards, though he began practicing again last week. No doubt, the rookie defender is raring to go.
"I’m excited to start playing again, that’s for sure," he said. "It’s been a rough month. Hopefully I get back in there soon."
The Jets remain without defencemen Zach Bogosian, who suffered a groin injury during a Nov. 15 game against the Philadelphia Flyers, and Paul Postma, who has been sidelined since doctors found a blood clot in his leg last month. He could be out well into next year.
On that note, the Jets boarded a plane Sunday to head to New Jersey, where they will face the Devils on Monday night to open a six-game road trip. After Saturday afternoon’s heartbreaker loss to the Minnesota Wild, the road trip comes at a good time, forward Matt Halischuk said.
"I think we’ve just got to put it behind us," Halischuk said. "It’s gonna be nice to get out on the road, and kind of refocus here, and just try to go in there and get a win."