Jacob Trouba is considering turning pro.
The Winnipeg Jets first-round pick at the 2012 draft, Trouba completed his first year of NCAA action at the University of Michigan on Sunday and is now taking a few days to deliberate over his next move.
"He's pretty close to being ready on the ice, and then it would be the rest of the story. Is he ready for pro hockey? Is he ready to interact at the pro level and for this to be his full-time job? He's not far off the mark," Wolverines coach Red Berenson told the Detroit Free Press. "I couldn't deny if the kid wanted to leave and Winnipeg wanted to take him, I'm not going to fight it. The kid has been an absolute impact player all year. If he wants to come back another year, I think it would be great, and then there would be no question. You wouldn't even ask that question a year from now."
Could Trouba be in the lineup for the Winnipeg Jets by the end of the week? Potentially, although that seems a long shot at this juncture.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has been very careful in discussions about the player and he is fond of saying development can't be rushed. What the Jets really think of Trouba and his abilities, however, could be revealed in the near future.
Were Trouba to come to the decision to turn pro, he would contact the Jets to state his intentions.
The Jets would then have to sign him to a contract. If the two parties were unable to come to an agreement, Trouba would have the option of returning to college. Technically, a college player cannot hire an agent and negotiate with a pro team or his eligibility will be forfeited. Discussions have to be handled carefully and follow protocol to protect the player.
If Winnipeg was able to reach a deal with Trouba, they could then send him to their AHL affiliate or put him on their NHL roster.
Sending Trouba to the St. John's IceCaps would require the player to sign an amateur tryout contract in conjunction with his entry-level contract.
An ATO will ruin his college eligibility and it's likely Trouba and his agent will want a maximum entry-level deal.
Whether the Jets want to give Trouba such a deal at this point remains to be seen and this will all be part of a negotiation should the player elect to turn pro.
Trouba was selected ninth overall by the Jets and the 19-year-old is listed at 6-2 and 195 pounds. He had 12 goals and 17 assists in 34 games with the Wolverines this season.
A finalist for CCHA rookie of the year and the CCHA's best offensive defenceman, Trouba was a first-team CCHA all-star.
Trouba won a gold medal with the U.S. national junior team at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship and was also named the tournament's top defenceman.
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