Jacob Truscott is progressing well as a support defenceman: CanucksArmy prospect rankings #9
Photo credit:Syndication: Detroit Free Press
By Faber1 month ago
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Yesterday, we saw Arshdeep Bains kick off the top-10 prospect rankings and today we see our first defenceman in the top-10.
He’s praised for his ability to play as a support defenceman, is the partner to the youngest Hughes brother, and has found a hot scoring hand of late. It’s time to talk about Jacob Truscott.
Jacob Truscott, LD, 20 years old, 2020 5th round pick
Standing at 6’1″, left-shot defenceman Jacob Truscott was a solid fifth-round pick for the Canucks in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. He’s the type of prospect you want to spend fifth-round picks on. At the time of his draft, he was coming out of the United States National Team Development Program and eventually made his way onto USA’s world junior roster at the summer tournament this past August.
Truscott is currently in his third NCAA season with the Michigan Wolverines and is on their top pairing alongside Luke Hughes. Through 23 games, Truscott has four goals and 12 assists but is more known for his defensive awareness as well as breakouts from his own zone.
For years, we have tagged Truscott as a support defenceman. He has done a good job at being the guy who plays with ‘the guy’ at Michigan and understands that though he can contribute offensively when the situation presents itself, his main goal is to let his defence partner shine while he makes smart decisions and defends odd-man rushes.
This season, Truscott has added something extremely vital to his game — being physical. As a support defenceman, you are relied upon to be a strong defender. Truscott does that with great awareness in the defensive zone but adding physicality to his game has really helped as he is able to lean on opposing forwards in the corner and use leverage to create turnovers. We have been impressed with how Truscott is able to slow down play in his own zone and is patient when attempting a breakout. He makes smart decisions with passes out of his own zone and that shows up in the analytics.
We tracked 18 of his games this season and saw him post a 53.9% Corsi along with a 54.8% control of expected goals. He does a good job of moving the puck forward and handles his own business in the defensive zone. We also found that he blocked 23 shots through those 18 games and he averaged 3:18 per game on the penalty kill.
Truscott has been the most reliable penalty killer for Michigan this season. He got a taste of shorthanded play last year but has taken a huge jump in his penalty-killing ability this year and is typically the defenceman who is handling the commotion near his crease or shadowing the right half-wall shooter. Truscott has an active stick on the penalty kill and with that, does a very good job of simply taking away passing lanes. He does tend to get down to a knee often and take away the pass through the slot, but is quick to react to movement around his crease.
Now for the offensive side of the puck. We’ve seen Truscott take a jump in production this year. Last season, he finished his sophomore NCAA year with two goals and 15 assists in 40 games. As we mentioned earlier, Truscott is up to four goals and 12 assists through 23 games. He has seen consistent power play time throughout the season and has found a lot of openings to create offence on his own this year.
Here’s a look at his four goals this season.
CA’S FIRST 2023 PROSPECT RANKING PRESENTED BY BETWAY
The decision of leaving school after this season and going pro is a proposition that requires two questions. The first question is if the Canucks are interested in signing Truscott and getting him to either Abbotsford or Vancouver to see what he looks like in pro hockey. Then, Truscott would need to decide if he wants to come out of school or go back for his fourth year.
Our read on the situation is that Truscott would lean towards going pro if the Canucks believe that is the best bet for his hockey future.
The Canucks have until August 15, 2024, to sign Truscott and the draw to go back to Michigan and captain the Wolverines in his senior season is certainly an appealing position for Truscott — who is currently an alternate captain with the Wolverines.
We are going to guess that he signs with the Canucks after this NCAA season and plays in Abbotsford next year. The guess for when he gets into some NHL games would be late in the 2023-24 season or potentially sometime in 2024-25.
To reach his ceiling, Truscott is going to have to adjust to the speed and strength in pro hockey while also continuing to improve on his skating and shooting. Truscott has a strong base as a prospect and just seems to need to improve a bit on every skill before we believe that he can be an everyday NHLer. We like the way this kid plays and if he can make improvements in his game, he could be a useful depth piece for the Canucks’ defence corps. We hope to see Truscott in the AHL next season to begin his pro hockey career.
This concludes our ninth-ranked prospect report. We will be back tomorrow with number eight on the rankings!
- Jacob Truscott
- Arshdeep Bains
Honourable Mentions: Aku Koskenvuo, Joni Jurmo, Connor Lockhart, and Kirill Kudryavtsev.
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