Jacob Trouba New York Rangers
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba isn’t thinking about his history with the Winnipeg Jets, who he plays opening night.

Jacob Trouba was acquired by the New York Rangers from the Winnipeg Jets over the summer to be the team’s No. 1 defenseman, being asked to shut down top lines while providing some offensive help. In an ironic scheduling situation, his first game will come against Neal Pionk and the Jets.

However, Trouba isn’t focused on anything more than getting off to a good start with his new team. According to Michael Obernauer of NHL.com, Trouba is excited about starting the season, but isn’t allowing himself to think too much about playing his former team.

Trouba spoke about playing his former team, saying, “I just don’t really read a whole lot into that. It’ll be different playing some of those people, and playing against the jersey will probably be the biggest difference. But once the game starts it’s just another opponent, and it’ll be more fun than anything.”

The former ninth-overall pick, who had wanted to return to the United States partially to support his fiancé’s blooming medical career, is excited for his first game with the Rangers, but is forcing himself to remain focused on the game.

“Just go out and play, that’s all I want to do. Being excited about my first game at MSG, the whole thing, you can build it up as much as you want or not. I have to view it as another game. I mean, I’ll look back on it and it’ll be a really cool memory, but I play better, and I’m just more of a confident player, I guess, when I just stay mellow and don’t get too jacked-up about the whole thing. Just go play a game.”

Knowing yourself as a player is a key to unlocking the best performance a player can put on. Trouba is a professional who has six seasons in the NHL under his belt, and no doubt knows how to lock himself in on the game.

He’ll be on the right side of the top pair, likely with Brady Skjei on his left. He’ll also likely be on the top penalty kill unit and will run point on the top powerplay group. Trouba is an all-situations defenseman who will have a lot of responsibility on his new team.

His first opportunity to show he’s ready for that will come Thursday against his former team (7 p.m. ET, MSG Network).

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