During the second intermission of Tuesday night’s game against the New Jersey Devils, something interesting happened in the New York Rangers locker room. The Blueshirts had just come off a lackluster second period, holding a slim lead of 1-0. At that point, a voice outside of the regular leadership group spoke up and provided some “words of inspiration” that rallied the team. It was 27-year-old Jacob Trouba who provided that extra spark that led the Rangers to one of their better periods of the season and the 3-0 victory over the Devils.
Teammate Ryan Strome talked about Trouba’s role in his pre-game Zoom conference on Thursday. “Usually the older guys speak up in the intermission anyway, and Trouba took that initiative,” Strome said, “but I think just for him to take the reins a little bit and have the players control the dressing room for a period, you know, sometimes you can get caught up a little bit in the X’s and O’s and I thought in the second period we were kind of just off our game. I was really proud of the guys who stepped up.”
While Trouba acknowledged his role, he was less forthcoming about what happened. “I thought we needed to play better in the third,” Trouba said Thursday in his Zoom conference. “What happens in the room kind of stays in the room.”
By following an old adage that has been adopted by a certain city in Nevada, we will just have to speculate as to what was said during that time.
Nevertheless, since that time, the Rangers have played quite well in shutting out the Devils on two consecutive nights.
Trouba taking on a senior leadership role for the New York Rangers
While not exactly eligible for an AARP card yet, Trouba is one of the senior members of the team and has started to embrace that role. Something that has not been lost on his head coach.
“He plays hard. He creates a mentality in our locker room and he means an awful lot to us on and off the ice, Quinn said in his pre-game Zoom conference. “People have touched on the leadership aspect that he’s kind of embraced here this year, but I certainly like what’s going on on the ice as well.”
On the ice, Trouba started things going on Thursday night by scoring the first goal inside of one minute into the game.
The deal that the Rangers made on June 17, 2019, is looking really good. On that date, Trouba was traded by the Winnepeg Jets to the Rangers in exchange for Neal Pionk and Winnipeg’s own first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. That pick had been previously acquired by the Rangers in exchange for the Jets receiving Kevin Hayes.
The Rochester, Michigan native also finds himself in the role of mentor to rookie K’Andre Miller and now to the newly added Zac Jones.
Trouba will also continue to be a leader as the team looks to add some new faces on the blue line in the coming seasons.