Photo credit:@jacob_truscott20 on IG
Canucks Prospect Rewind: LHD Jacob Truscott will be pro-ready after one more NCAA season
By Faber8 months ago
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When you’re drafting a defenceman in the fifth round of the NHL Entry Draft, you are simply looking for a guy who is going to play NHL games.
You don’t need to find an all-star defenceman in the fifth round, you simply want to find a guy who can contribute on the backend. The Vancouver Canucks may have that with left-shot defenceman Jacob Truscott.
After being selected in the fifth round of the 2020 draft, Truscott moved from the United States National Team Development Program to Michigan as he began his NCAA career. Truscott was able to make a quick adjustment to the NCAA and over the past two seasons, he has been playing alongside one of the best defencemen that the NCAA has ever seen in Luke Hughes.
Truscott isn’t going to light up the stat sheet but he is going to allow his partner to do so. We view Truscott as a support defenceman. He doesn’t need the personal glory, he just wants that glory to come to his team.
Though we said that Truscott doesn’t typically put up a ton of points, he did double his goal production in his third year of NCAA hockey this past season and has been much more productive in terms of assists as well.
Early in the season, we had a source close to Truscott tell us that he was likely going to go pro at the end of the year but an injury to the hand/wrist ended his season early and he had to rehab his way through Michigan’s run in the NCAA playoffs. This was tough for Truscott, who wore a letter for the first time this season. Michigan’s trusty two-way defenceman was absent in their most important games and we believe that the injury is a big reason why Truscott will be returning to the Wolverines for his fourth season next year.
Truscott also played at the World Junior Championship back in August — if you can remember that weird summer WJC. He did what he does best and killed penalties while not getting scored on a lot at even-strength.
Since we’ve been covering Truscott, we’ve been consistent in what we want to see in his development. It’s not about working on one part of his game, it’s more about just continuing to develop as an all-around defensive defenceman. This past season, we saw Truscott add a lot of physicality to his game and that part stuck out at the Canucks’ development camp last summer. He looked much more confident with his physicality and showed that during the NCAA season. On top of looking like a more physical player, Truscott was also just a rock in his own end. He does a great job of anticipating scoring chances against and is able to get to the final destination of a scoring chance before the shooter gets an open opportunity at the net.
Truscott has a good stick and just seems to rarely be out of place in his own end. As for puck-moving, we saw some minor improvements this past season but the improvements weren’t as noticeable as his physicality or his stick-checking. As you will see, he had some big goals this season and perhaps he can get to double-digit goals next year if he gets some more power play time — which we expect he will as Luke Hughes has moved to pro.
An exciting doohickey for Truscott next season will be that we expect him to be the captain of the Michigan Wolverines. This is obviously a huge honour for any college hockey player and we all saw what wearing a ‘C’ on your chest did for Aidan McDonough at Northeastern. There are challenges that come with being a captain but it seems to be a great stepping stone for an NCAA player who is set to make the jump to pro hockey at the conclusion of their season. This is the case with Truscott and we expect him to be in the AHL for the final stretch of the AHL season next year.
Michigan is losing some leaders on and off the ice and Truscott has an opportunity to become a more productive scorer while also continuing to build on his two-way game in preparation for his jump to pro next year.
We expect to see Truscott at Canucks development camp this summer before heading back to Michigan to prep for the 2023-24 NCAA season.
Our expectations are pretty high on him for next year as he takes the final step of his NCAA career.
Truscott is the type of defenceman who won’t make a ton of highlight reels offensively but he will be the type of guy who doesn’t ever appear on anyone else’s highlight reel. If he can take his defensive game to another level, there’s no doubt in our mind that he will make a quick transition to becoming a pro hockey player at the conclusion of his NCAA career.
As for the NHL, we do see a world where Truscott is a bottom-pairing or seventh defenceman on an NHL roster in the coming years.
Prediction for the 2023-24 season
40 games played, nine goals, 28 assists in NCAA. (with a ton of shorthanded minutes)
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