You can probably at this point lay to rest whatever concerns you might have had about anything remotely resembling a sophomore jinx affecting Winnipeg Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba in his second NHL season.

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This article was published 5/12/2014 (2382 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

You can probably at this point lay to rest whatever concerns you might have had about anything remotely resembling a sophomore jinx affecting Winnipeg Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba in his second NHL season.

With a three-point game (one goal, two assists) Wednesday night in a 3-2 Winnipeg overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers, Trouba now has six points (one goal, five assists) in his last four games and has also now written himself into the franchise history books.

'He plays a man's game now and he's just going to get better and better. He looked like a horse last night... But he's been really good here for a long time now'‐ Paul Maurice on Jacob Trouba

Trouba's three-point game on Wednesday came at the age of 20 years, 280 days, which makes him the youngest player in the history of Jets 2.0 to record a three-point game.

Overall, Trouba is the fifth-youngest player in franchise history to notch a three-point game, following Evander Kane (18 years, 103 days), Zach Bogosian (18 years, 216 days), Ilya Kovalchuk (18 years, 223 days) and Patrik Stefan (19 years, 23 days).

That's some pretty good company for Trouba to be keeping and it couldn't be coming at a better time for a Jets club that is injury-riddled on defence right now and desperately needing someone to step up and fill some of that void.

So how good is Trouba right now? Well consider this -- Jets head coach Paul Maurice says Trouba's offensive exploits of late are actually the least impressive part of his game right now.

"He was dynamic. He was attacking the line and he was strong," Maurice said Thursday of Trouba's performance against Edmonton.

"But he has been exceptionally good in the defensive parts of the game and the physical man parts of the game. Separating checks, moving the puck, being strong down low.

"To be honest with you, I'm more excited about that part of his game developing right now than the offensive part. Because you know the offensive part is going to be there. But what he's done on the defensive side of the game -- the physicality -- when you think about where the offence is eventually going to get to... you've got a pretty exciting player at 20 years old that's physically strong.

"He plays a man's game now and he's just going to get better and better. He looked like a horse last night... But he's been really good here for a long time now. It's just quieter because it's not always on the scoresheet."

What's Trouba's self-assessment right now? True to form, Trouba didn't sound particularly impressed with himself when he was asked about it Thursday following Jets practice at the MTS Centre.

"It was just kind of one of those days -- nothing really special," Trouba said -- with a straight face -- about his three-point performance against the Oilers.

As for the bigger picture and a game that is continuing to develop for him coming off a standout rookie season, Trouba was equally non-plussed. "A lot of it is luck and good breaks, that kind of stuff," Trouba insisted.

Trouba said he never was worried about the kind of regression in his game in his second professional season that seems to affect so many second-year pros that it has earned its own moniker. "It's just another hockey season," Trouba said. "I don't really pay too much attention to that stuff. It's just another season and you want to work hard and get better."

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @PaulWiecek

Paul Wiecek

Paul Wiecek
Reporter (retired)

Paul Wiecek was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End and delivered the Free Press -- 53 papers, Machray Avenue, between Main and Salter Streets -- long before he was first hired as a Free Press reporter in 1989.

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