Tuesday's NHL: Rangers name Rochester native Jacob Trouba captain
New York — The New York Rangers named Rochester native and former Wolverines defenseman Jacob Trouba captain.
Rangers president and general manager Chris Drury announced the selection in a news release Tuesday morning, and the team held a news conference with Drury, Trouba and coach Gerard Gallant at the team’s practice facility in Greenburgh, New York, in the afternoon.
Trouba, a first-round selection by Winnipeg in the 2012 draft, was acquired from the Jets on June 17, 2019. He has totaled 20 goals and 58 assists in 189 games over the last three seasons with the Rangers.
“Anyone that has been around our team for the last few seasons I think certainly understands the impact Jacob has had on our group, day to day, day in, day out, on ice, off ice, game days or practice days,” Drury said. “He’s a terrific leader and we think he’ll be a great Rangers captain for years to come.”
The 28-year-old, an alternate captain the last two seasons, is the 28th captain in franchise history, and the first since Ryan McDonagh was traded in 2018.
“It was just the right time,” Drury said. “Jake was basically doing the job for at least a couple of seasons and we just felt like it was appropriate and now’s the time, and we’re excited to see the ‘C’ on him.”
Trouba is one of three defensemen currently serving as captain in the NHL, joining Jared Spurgeon (Minnesota) and Roman Josi (Nashville). He is the 12th defenseman to serve as captain in franchise history.
“I believe in this group and the group of players we have and I’m just really grateful for this opportunity and look forward to leading this team,” Trouba said.
In the first season under Gallant last year, the Rangers had six alternate captains – Barclay Goodrow, Chris Kreider, Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome, Mika Zibanejad and Trouba. Strome, a free agent after the season, signed with Anaheim last month.
“We had a group of core leaders and if anybody had an issue, or wanted to talk, we would meet, call a meeting and discuss it and figure out how you want to address it,” Trouba said.
“That’s going to have to continue going forward. I think all of our leadership group has different strengths, different qualities, different relationships with other players and people, and we use each other as well as we can to navigate through every situation.”
Last season, he had a career-high 11 goals, 28 assists and a career-best plus-minus rating of plus-25 in 81 games. Trouba had 177 blocked shots, the second-most in the NHL, and was the only player in the league with more than 175 blocks and more than 200 hits. He also had a goal and four assists over 20 games in the Rangers’ run to the Eastern Conference Final.
For his career, he has 62 goals and 195 assists in 597 games over nine seasons with the Jets and Rangers.
Hurricanes re-sign Necas
The Carolina Hurricanes have re-signed forward Martin Necas to a two-year, $6 million contract, keeping the young forward with the franchise that picked him in the first round of the 2017 draft.
The team announced the signing Tuesday, saying the deal would pay the 23-year-old $2.5 million next season and $3.5 million for the 2023-24 season.
Necas is regarded as a key piece for the team’s future with speed and skill. But he was inconsistent last season while finishing with 14 goals and 26 assists, then couldn’t find the net in Carolina’s 14 playoff games.
“I’ve got to help the team more, got to produce way more,” Necas said in June after the Hurricanes’ second straight second-round playoff loss. “That’s what everyone kind of expects from me. I didn’t do it this year. so like I said it was disappointing for me.”
Still, Carolina is betting on Necas’ long-term potential.
“We’ve got to find a way to punch through (in the playoffs),” coach Rod Brind’Amour said in June, “and I think Marty obviously has the potential to help us do that.”
Necas, who was a restricted free agent, has 45 goals in 203 NHL games with Carolina.
Kraken add Lowry
The Seattle Kraken have added former Winnipeg interim coach Dave Lowry to the coaching staff for the upcoming season, the team announced Monday.
Lowry spent most of last season as the interim head coach for the Jets. He took over on Dec. 17 and went 26-22-6 while in charge. Lowry had joined Winnipeg as an assistant coach before the start of the 2020 season.
Lowry has also worked as an assistant with Los Angeles and Calgary, along with stints as a head coach with three different teams in the Western Hockey League.
Lowry spent 19 seasons as a player in the NHL with Vancouver, Calgary, St. Louis, Florida and San Jose.