Rangers Appoint Jacob Trouba as Their 28th Captain in Franchise History - The Jewish Voice
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Thursday, October 6, 2022

Rangers Appoint Jacob Trouba as Their 28th Captain in Franchise History

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By: Marvin Azrak

The New York Rangers finally have a captain.

Veteran defenseman Jacob Trouba will be the first player in four years to don the “C” for the Blueshirts next season; the team announced as the clock struck midnight Tuesday.

Trouba was one of six alternate captains last year, along with forwards Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Barclay Goodrow, and Ryan Strome, who signed with the Ducks last month.

In 81 games last season anchoring the second defensive pair alongside 22-year-old K’Andre Miller, he posted 11 goals and 28 assists but led the team with 88 penalty minutes.

Trouba becomes the 28th captain in franchise history and the first since defenseman Ryan McDonagh held the post from 2014 to 2018. The 28-year-old defenseman is entering his fourth year with the team after coming over in a 2019 trade from the Winnipeg Jets. Selected by Winnipeg in the first round (No. 9) of the 2012 NHL Draft, Trouba has 257 points (62 goals, 195 assists) in 597 regular-season games and 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 50 playoff games. He admitted that it took time to gain comfort in his New York surroundings, but he’s emerged as one of the clear locker-room leaders in the past two seasons. Teammates noted that he had become the chief organizer for keeping everyone focused and arranging off-ice activities.

Veteran defenseman Jacob Trouba will be the first player in four years to don the “C” for the Blueshirts next season; the team announced as the clock struck midnight Tuesday.

Perhaps the most poignant was when he called for the infamous “players-only meeting” after their 7-2 game four loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins that put them in a 3-1 series hole, that they ultimately climbed out, advancing to round two, eventually. reaching the Conference finals.  Troubs is good at knowing when it’s the right time to speak up,” Lindgren said. “(After Game 4 against Pittsburgh) was such a critical point where we were down three-games-to-one in the series after that game, and we were not feeling great about ourselves. Troubs came in and had that meeting and told us not to worry and focus on Game 5 and go from there.

Since he joined the Rangers, Jacob has consistently displayed all of the qualities we want in a leader on and off the ice,” team president and general manager Chris Drury said in a statement. “As we look to take the next step as an organization, he is a role model for all our players to follow and the perfect choice to be our captain.”

Trouba was rumored to be the next Rangers captain this offseason when those plans were nixed at the last second as coach Gerald Gallant needed to experience his first season behind the New York bench to think about it. This offseason, though, a change of heart occurred. When I got here, it was clear that Jacob had a confident presence in the locker room and among his teammates that exemplify what you need from a captain.” Said Coach Gallant, “With where our team is at and where we want to be, he is the right person to lead us there.”

He played 101 games last year for us, and he prepares himself,” Gallant said. “The young players, he took under his wing and helped them be better players. Jacob looked like a leader. He looked like a character guy and a leader. He played his game every night, and it didn’t affect him. Last year, we discussed it all the time; we didn’t discuss it one day and forgot about it. We talked about it during the season, and we talked about it during the offseason.

“We think now is the right time, and the biggest thing was me feeling very comfortable. The last thing I wanted to do was pick a captain last year and not know or be sure, and this year we’re trading him or something like that. We feel real comfortable with the guy we’ve got. He’s a character person. I think his teammates love him. He comes and shows up every night. Your captain doesn’t have to be your best player, of course, but he has to be a guy that shows up and helps his teammates the most, and I think he does that for us. And he is a good player.”

He’s our leader back there and sets the tone every night. He’s always talking on the bench, helping guys out, which is vital for us.”

The Rangers went with six alternate captains last season, each playing their role in the leadership circle.

But Trouba is someone that has never skated away from the pressure, as he naturally works hard on and off the ice. Last season, the 6-3, 208-pounder scored a career-high 11 goals, notched 28 assists for 39 points in 81 games, and posted a career-high plus-25 rating. His 11 goals were tied with Adam Fox’s most among Rangers defensemen in 2021-22. Trouba tallied 177 blocked shots last year, the second most in the NHL, to go along with his 207 hits. He was the only player in the NHL in 2021-22 to record both 175-plus blocked shots and 200-plus hits and was the first Ranger since Dan Girardi in 2014-15 to notch both in the same season.

Trouba emerged as a physical force during his third year on Broadway, playing precisely the type of hard-edged, two-way game the Rangers had expected from him when they acquired him from Winnipeg in exchange for Neal Pionk and the 20th overall selection in the 2019 draft on June 17, 2019, soon after that signed him to a seven-year, $56 million contract which has four years remaining.

His support of the Garden of Dreams Foundation (GDF) and Junior Rangers Youth Hockey, partaking in the Make-A-Wish program, has made him a vital representative of the hockey community amongst the fans. Off the ice, when around the players, Trouba takes that same going through extra mile approach Trouba arranged for the Norris Trophy to be shipped to New York from the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto before the start of last season so it would be present at a team party, celebrating Adam Fox having won the award in 2020-21. “(Ryan) Lindgren and I have grown close to Troubs. We started with the Rangers, and he’s helped us out. He has lots of experience, so we go to him for advice when needed, but he’s not too much older where we have nothing in common. He’s been perfect for us and helping us get adjusted,” Adam Fox said.

Trouba has emphasized making himself approachable and easy to talk to, as first-year Ranger Barclay Goodrow quipped, “Right from day one from my time on the team, he was the definite leader. Right when I signed with New York, Troubs was the first guy to reach out and answer any questions I had about the city and the team. It was evident that he has what it takes and sets the tone for our team. He has all the tools it takes to be a captain in the NHL, especially for the Rangers.”

“To be honest, I was waiting for this to happen.” said Mika Zibanejad, “He’s candid and very genuine as a leader. Everyone in the locker room respects him, and I think it was a perfect choice.”

“Being captain of the New York Rangers is something I dreamed about and wrote down in my dream journal,” said Trouba. “It’s something that doesn’t get handed out lightly, so it’s a great personal honor. That doesn’t take away from our great leadership group, and even though I’m at the front, that won’t change.” It’s a huge honor and something that means something, especially here in this organization with the history and the past players that have been captains before me,” Trouba said. “As a kid, I grew up watching [Brian] Leetch and Messier, [Chris] Drury and [Jaromir] Jagr. … You come here, and you learn more about the history of the guys that were before them. You see pictures, and you see jerseys around this place.

“It’s now my turn to carry that legacy on for those guys.” to see you get the letter sewn on your jersey,” Kreider said in a video released by the Rangers. “You’ve been a leader on the ice, a leader off the ice, and a leader in the community. I Can’t be happier for you.”

Only three teams in NHL history have won the Cup without a captain. The 1989 Flames did it with Lanny McDonald and Doug Risebrough operating as co-captains. The 1970 and 1972 Bruins did with Johnny Bucyk, Ed Westfall, Phil Esposito, and Ted Green (1972 only, injured in 1970) as alternates.

There are seven NHL teams without a captain: the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, and Seattle Kraken.

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