In the never ending saga of trying to get incoming freshmen to honor to their commitments and arrive in Ann Arbor this fall, defenseman Jacob Trouba is firmly in the OHL’s cross hairs now.
After losing U.S. National Team Development Program defenseman Connor Carrick to Plymouth a few days ago, The Michigan Daily’s Matt Slovin reports that the Kitchener Rangers, who own Trouba’s OHL rights, have offered him a compensation package worth “about $200,000.”
Kitchener president Craig Campbell said the report was “utterly false” on Twitter, though so far he has not threatened to sue Slovin for libel a la Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson. Come on, did you really expect him to publicly admit some under the table deal? Oh, wait…those don’t happen in the OHL. Right…
So basically right now it’s Trouba’s word vs. $200,000. Jacob is the one who said last summer before he committed to Michigan that he was waiting so long to make a decision because “I don’t want to make a commitment and then back down from it.” He added:
“My family and I have always been like that — my parents have always told me that if I make a commitment, that I have to stick with it, at least until the end of the year and then I can do whatever,” said the 6-foot-2, 193-pound blueliner. “So, I’m going to wait until I know for sure what I want to do and then I’m going to choose.”
“It’s important because people have to trust you and what you say,” he said of keeping his word. “If you keep backing out of decisions — and all that, going back on your word — then you’re just going to get that reputation.”
Jacob was adamant at the NHL Combine and NHL Draft that he was going to Michigan, too.
Spare me the “major junior is the superior route” crap, too. The Wolverines had 23 alumni play in the NHL last season. If Trouba lives up to his 9th overall pick status, he will make it no matter what route he chooses.
Definitely not feeling good about this one right now because Slovin now reports that Kitchener’s coach declined to comment on whether an offer has been made (which means YES) and Trouba has pretty much gone silent (he’s been a Twitter regular but only one tweet in last 36 hours about the Tigers).
BTW, here’s one more tweet I hope he remembers from the NHL Combine:
Now there’s a guy who could have gone to the OHL or could have bypassed college to sign with Carolina, but decided to honor his commitment to the Wolverines (without hesitation) and is as passionate about Michigan as any MF’er on the planet. Jack didn’t just say the right things… he did the right things. Role model? Indeed. Time to find out if Trouba is going to back up his words.