Michigan freshman defenseman Jacob Trouba has signed with the Winnipeg Jets, foregoing his final three seasons of eligibility, the rookie announced on twitter and the Jets confirmed.
Trouba was a finalist for the CCHA Rookie of the Year and was named the conference's Best Offensive Defenseman as well as a first-team all-league performer after leading the CCHA in scoring by a blue liner with 29 points. His final scoring tally represents the third-best offering ever by a U-M freshman defenseman while his 12 goals sit second amongst Michigan rookie defenders.
Defensive partner Mac Bennett said last week he would be in Trouba's ear to get him to return for at least one more season, with head coach Red Berenson noting just how great the potential was of the 2013-14 Wolverines if the 6-2, 195-pounder wore the winged helmet again. However, that scenario will not materialize as Trouba begins his pro career with the Jets after being taken ninth overall by Winnipeg in last summer's NHL Entry Draft.
With Trouba's departure - and that of junior Jon Merrill - Michigan loses two of its top three defensemen from this past season. Bennett will return and will anchor a blue line heavy on experience still (Kevin Clare is expected back for his senior year as well as three soon-to-be-juniors) but light on overall talent.
The good news is the Maize and Blue welcome two stud freshmen (and three overall), with the possibility that Michael Downing could be paired with Bennett immediately.
TheWolverine.com will have more on Trouba's pending departure as more details emerge.