Losing Jacob Trouba for the GLI is a good problem to have says Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson
Michigan freshman defenseman Jacob Trouba will likely miss the Great Lakes Invitational in late December, and Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson isn’t upset about it at all.
In fact, he’s happy about it.
Trouba was one of 27 players named to the 2013 U.S. National Junior Team’s preliminary roster last week and if he makes the team will compete in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Russia and miss the GLI.
Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com
“It’s a pretty cool feeling to represent country and get that opportunity,” Trouba said. “It’ll be good to be back with USA Hockey.”
Berenson may miss Trouba when he’s gone, but wouldn’t dare ask him to turn down the opportunity.
“We’ve taken a firm stance as a program that we support the World Juniors program,” Berenson said. “On the flipside, we miss them during the GLI. That’s a big hole on our team, but I’m not going to hold a kid back.”
Trouba is one of three training camp invitees to have made the team last year and a practical shoe-in to be part of the final 23 players selected on Dec. 23.
Jon Merrill played for Team USA in 2012 and won a gold medal along with former Wolverine Chris Brown in 2011.
“It’s a good experience for them and I think they represent Michigan well when they’re there,” Berenson said.
Trouba is tied with five others for the second most goals on the team with four and with six assists is fourth on the team with 10 points. He’s been one of Michigan’s best and most consistent players during a rough 5-8-2 (3-6-1-2 CCHA) start, Michigan’s worst since the 1986-87 season.
“Trouba’s a big hole, but that’s not his fault. He’s going to be a big part of the (USA) team and I just think it’s a win-win for Michigan. We have to suck it up,” Berenson said.
Trouba said there’s nothing quite like representing your country in a foreign land. He looks forward to returning to Michigan even stronger, especially considering countries' beefed up rosters this year due to the NHL lockout.
“The best guys are going to be there, whenever you’re playing against bigger, better competition it’s going to make you better,” Trouba said. “It will only help us here.”