By Calli Townsend
Port Huron-native Jacob Truscott set some pretty high goals as a young hockey player. Ever since he can remember, he said, he’s been dreaming of playing for the University of Michigan, being drafted to the NHL, and winning a Stanley Cup.
And now, he just needs to win a Stanley Cup.
In less than a year after signing his National Letter of Intent to play for the Wolverines, the Vancouver Canucks drafted Truscott in the fifth round of the 2020 NHL draft on Oct. 7.
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“That’s been the goal since I was a little kid: get drafted and win a Stanley Cup,” Truscott said. “I was lucky enough to get part of that.”
Truscott will continue to play as a defenseman for the Wolverines this season, which is expected to begin as soon as Nov. 13, which he called a dream come true.
“I grew up going to the games and watching hockey and football. I fell in love with it and always made it a goal of mine to play for the University of Michigan,” he said. “It’s a school I really wanted to go to and now I get to go there and play hockey, it’s crazy.”
He said that being drafted initiates his NHL journey, as he’s now a prospect for the Canucks and they have his rights, but he won’t start playing for the team right away.
“They’ll offer you a contract when they want you, so I plan on playing here [at U of M] until I get offered a contract,” he said. “I plan on playing three or four years here, but it all depends on when they need me. It could just be one year, or maybe several.”
With the cancelation of the 2020 Under-18 World Championship, Truscott missed out on a major opportunity to not only play against teams from around the world, but also to play in front of NHL scouts. However, he said, he was still confident in the work he had already put in.
“It’s the biggest tournament of our career at the time, so it was a bummer. But it affected everyone, not just us,” he said. “I think playing would’ve help out a lot with the rankings and going a little higher, but at the end of the day, I was pretty confident in my mark that I had made on the rink. I left it all on the table.”
For Truscott, that mark was more than 10 years in the making.
“I started skating when I was four, but started playing competitively when I was like six or eight years old. Then I played for Detroit Little Caesars for six years, then at 16 I got the opportunity to play for the U.S. National team,” he said. “We had some tournaments overseas in Sweden and Czechoslovakia and we also played some college games last year.”
When Truscott started playing for the U.S. National team, he moved from Port Huron, where he attended Port Huron Northern, to Plymouth, Michigan, and transferred to Northville High School. There, he spent mornings in the classroom, then would leave for the rink and finish the rest of his classes online.
Those two years have prepared him well for the balance of school and sport, which should help as he adjusts to the college course load at U of M. Truscott doesn’t seem to shy away from any challenge in the classroom either. He’s planning to study kinesiology.
“It’s something that always interested me, sports science, movement science, and applied science,” he said. “I’m gong try to transfer into Michigan’s School of Kinesiology later.”
There’s no doubting Truscott’s goals, determination, and work ethic. He’s given everything to his sport over the last decade, and he said he still never gets tired of it.
“No, not one bit,” he said.
And that determination made the moment of hearing his name called in the NHL Draft just that much more special.
“It was obviously a little different this year with it being online, but it was really nice to have my family and grandparents there,” Truscott said. “They’ve helped me get to this point and have always been huge supporters for me.”
The Truscott family had a lot to celebrate on that Wednesday night.
“It was a very emotional moment. We all just hugged each other and there were some tears. It was just amazing.”