Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Jacob Trouba Jersey Card

A cool thing about the midway point of a season in terms of card releases is to see rookies wearing a brand-new uniform, as was the case when I unwrapped this 2013-14 Series 2 Jacob Trouba Rookie Materials card from Upper Deck last season:
It shows him wearing the Winnipeg Jets' current white (away) uniform, with a black (or dark blue) swatch from a photo shoot, well placed below the action shot, in a very lively design.

Trouba was selected 9th overall in 2012, and at the time I didn't know who he was, because he'd mainly played with the U.S. Development Team, though the team had won two U-18 World Championship gold medals.

I saw a lot of him the following year, as Team USA won gold at the World Juniors and he was named the tournament's top defender, before also suiting up for the national team at the World Championships in the Spring, where he participated in winning bronze.

You never want to get carried away with young defensemen, but it seems like 2012 was a particularly stellar year for the position at the draft, with Ryan Murray leading the charge at second overall, followed by Griffin Reinhart (4th), Morgan Rielly (5th), Hampus Lindholm (6th), Mathew Dumba (7th), Derrick Pouliot (8th), Slater Koekkoek (10th), Cody Ceci (15th), Olli Maata (22nd), Mike Matheson (23rd), Dalton Thrower (51st), and Shayne Gostisbehere (78th) all within the first three rounds.

Trouba, a tall, skinny, quick skater who can throw some hits but might need to add 20 more pounds to his frame to survive a decade of the contacts he initiates, had 10 goals, 19 assists, 29 points and was a +4 on a very poor Jets team in his rookie season last year, in just 65 games. This year, he has 12 points and is a +6 through 29 games, showing no signs of slumping. Granted, three of those points came in just one game against the Edmonton Oilers last week, but he still put them up on the board.

He, Tobias Enstrom, Dustin Byflugien, and Zach Bogosian make for a very interesting top-4 on defense, definitely one of the strongest such units in the Eastern Conference.

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