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Buzzing The Net

Jacob Trouba “will be attending the University of Michigan next fall”

Cam Charron
Buzzing The Net

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Michigan recruit Jacob Trouba went No. 9 to the Winnipeg Jets last week (Getty Images)

After a potentially damning report that surfaced Monday night that suggested Jacob Trouba would allegedly accept a large sum of money to play in the OHL next season, Trouba's family took to the University of Michigan's Twitter account to deny the allegations.

The statement was included as the first on-record source quoted in Matt Slovin's story, updated at 2:51 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. The following paragraphs were not included in the original version the paper ran:

When contacted on Tuesday morning, the league office told the Daily that OHL commissioner David Branch was unable to comment due to "summer holidays." Ken Miller, the league's director of security, also was out of the office when contacted.

But later Tuesday afternoon, the Michigan hockey program released a statement on Twitter in regards to Trouba's future plans.

"Statement from the Trouba family: 'We have the utmost respect for the Kitchener Rangers and those that choose the CHL as an option ... but Jacob will be attending the University of Michigan next fall as a student athlete.' "

Prior to last week's NHL Draft, the original source said the odds were stacked heavily in Kitchener's favor. But Trouba's promise that he will be playing for Michigan this season makes it a coin flip.

You can't blame a young journalist for making too much of a rumour. Un-sourced attribution in regards to junior hockey players happens to even the most experienced journalists who are looking for a story. Dollar figures attached to players and teams have been circulated through my own email inbox, but there's no concrete evidence for any of them.

At this point, you have to think that the optics are too bad at this point for Trouba to be seriously considering going to Kitchener if he isn't signed by the Winnipeg Jets, the team that selected him 9th overall in the recent NHL Draft. If Trouba signs an entry-level deal, he'll be ineligible for the NCAA but not for the OHL. They control his development at this point.

As Sunaya pointed out yesterday:

For some privately-run teams, you may be able to sneak a few thousand bucks without anybody noticing, but if there's enough money circulating under the table, at some point there will be a smoking gun to follow up on. At this point there isn't, and it won't happen with the Kitchener Rangers, who are understandably furious with the report. Bienkowski has already said that the Rangers "are going to look at every legal remedy we have against the newspaper."

This story may have a few extra twists and turns, but unless the Winnipeg Jets can convince Trouba otherwise with a good signing bonus to play in the CHL, I'd expect Trouba to suit up for Michigan Hockey in the fall as a student athlete.

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