Monday, 30 September 2013

Jacob Trouba as the 6th D man?

So as of this morning, Jacob Trouba would appear to have made the Winnipeg Jets roster. That in spite the fact that provided health is on their side, the highest Trouba can be expected to play is 6th in the batting order. Does playing the 6th or 7th D man role make sense when he could be the #1 D man in St. John's? I'd say no... 
According to the Jets official website today, the depth chart lists 9 D men still in camp so of course this could change. It's likely Adam Pardy will be assigned to the minors after clearing waivers so make that 8. On the heals of the press release informing all that Trouba has changed his number to 8 from 3, I would suggest he will be making the trip to Edmonton and will make his NHL debut on October 1st. The top five positions on the depth chart are set: Zach Bogosian, Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom, Mark Stuart, and Grant Clitsome. (yes Grant Clitsome) Ken Wiebe tweeted out this morning that Trouba was skating on a line with Zach Bogosian. 

Is this a good idea though? First off, if a player is good enough, or shows enough to make a team, then he SHOULD NOT be cut. It is true in the case of young players though, they should be head & tails above the competition because these are key development years. If you also consider the plight of so many young D men, it should give the Jets pause as to where he should play. They have been very patient with Mark Scheifele, they would be wise to do the same with Trouba.  

For every Drew Doughty there are hundreds of young players who have been elevated to the NHL faster than they should have. When I think of player development in this area, I immediately consider how St Louis handled Alex Pietrangelo. The Blues allowed him to ripen "on the vine" in junior and his initiation into the pro game was much smoother than say Zach Bogosian's was. I'm sure the Sabres have questioned their path with Tyler Myers, even after his incredible rookie season. D men do not develop in a straight line, and they tend to get injured. 

I for one will be cheering like hell for the young man, but I will also be very happy if the Jets send him down to the AHL for seasoning. Up to this point, the Jets have proven to be patient with their young developing players. What they do with Trouba will be a very interesting to watch.

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