GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The Rangers finally have a captain.
Jacob Trouba will be the 28th Ranger to wear the “C” and the first one to fill that role since Ryan McDonagh was dealt at the 2018 trade deadline. The decision was officially announced at a news conference Tuesday at the team’s practice facility.
“This means a lot to me,” the 28-year-old defenseman said. “I believe in this group of players we have.”
This will be Trouba’s fourth year with the team after coming over in a 2019 trade with the Winnipeg Jets. This past season was his best as he scored a career-high 11 goals along with 28 assists while making a number of key defensive plays.
Over the past two seasons, the 6-3, 208-pounder has developed into a locker room leader, mentoring defense partner K’Andre Miller and the rest of the Rangers' defensemen. He was an alternate captain in the 2021-22 season along with Barclay Goodrow, Chris Kreider, Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome and Mika Zibanejad.
“It’s just the right time,” general manager Chris Drury said. “As a lot of our players have said publicly, Jacob’s basically been doing the job for at least a couple seasons. We just thought it was appropriate.”
Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said he was impressed with Trouba from the moment he took his spot behind the bench last season after replacing David Quinn.
“I didn’t know our team last year,” Gallant said. “I was a first-year coach. I had 102 games with my players. Troubs played 101 of those games. You get to know your team over the year. I think it evolved to making this decision. We got to the point where we feel real comfortable and we think he’s a great leader for us.”
The Rangers are the first NHL franchise to have four consecutive American-born captains (Trouba, McDonagh, Ryan Callahan and Drury).
Trouba said being a team captain for an NHL team has been something he’s dreamed of since he was a kid.
“I had a journal in there as a kid and it was one of the things that was in there,” he said. “It’s something I wanted to do. I felt I could do it. I want to be a big part of this team. This is a way I can contribute.
“I want to be approachable and be someone people can lean on. We have other great leaders in the room. I wanted to take a leadership role on this team.”