Jacob Trouba is probably extremely lucky to be up walking around today after a vicious crash into the boards Friday night in Winnipeg. The Jets rookie blueliner confirmed Saturday that he has a sprained neck and will need to wear a neck brace for the next two weeks before being reevaluated by doctors.
Jacob Trouba in good spirits today, confirms he has a neck sprain & must wear brace for 2 weeks before more testing. pic.twitter.com/41tniiGJId— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) October 19, 2013
The promising rookie was injured when he attempted to get around Blues defenseman Jordan Leopold, lost his balance and crashed violently into the boards face-first. He was stretchered off the ice and taken to a local hospital for X-rays and evaluation. He was released late Saturday night.
Trouba has been outstanding so far in his freshman campaign, averaging more than 23 minutes a night and playing in all situations for Claude Noel. He has become a key piece of the Jets' blue line in the young season and Winnipeg really can't afford to be without him for terribly long.
The 19-year-old is also considered a long-shot candidate for the U.S. Olympic Team, so missing key games during the evaluation period is likely to make him an even longer shot. Trouba probably wasn't quite ready to seize a role on the U.S. club at this point, but this probably seals it.
The Rochester, Mich., native spent last season with the University of Michigan, earning first-team All-America honors as a true freshman. He was also named the best defenseman as the U.S. won gold at the 2013 World Junior Championship.
He has one goal and one assist in eight games.
Trouba certainly has a bright future ahead of him and thankfully Friday night's incident didn't derail him with a more severe injury. Still scary to watch.