Janesville defenseman Troutwine makes NCAA DI commitment
The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that Top Prospects defenseman Will Troutwine has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for the College of the Holy Cross Crusaders of Atlantic Hockey.
“It means a lot to me,” said Troutwine. “Seeing all the hard work I put in every day pay off and now continuing that work to keep getting better, it’s great.”
Troutwine, 19, just completed his second year with the Jets and turned in one of the best performances as a defenseman, not just with the program but also in the NAHL. The 6’3/215 lbs. native of Eveleth, MN, played in all but two games this year and was tied for third for most points for defensemen in the league. His seven goals and 35 assists totaled 42 points, which led the Jets’ defensemen group. Only Cal Mell had more assists in the blue-liner department (36).
Troutwine developed significantly over the course of the last two seasons, with his rookie season seeing him record 12 points in 41 games. The Minnesotan stayed true to his craft and slowly became a name to watch in his sophomore year in Janesville and was a frequent flyer on the stat sheet.
Towards the late stages of the season, Troutwine’s dedication and persistence showed after he was selected to join his d-partner Cal Mell at the 2022 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Pittsburgh. At the biggest tournament of the season, Troutwine performed at the same high level he had all season, and while he didn’t record a point, he was on the ice for a shorthanded goal created by his shutdown defense. After Top Prospects, Troutwine stayed consistent and continued to be a staple in the Jets’ lineup.
During Janesville’s impressive 11-game winning streak, Troutwine registered a whopping ten points, all but one of them assists. The lone goal just so happened to be the game-winning overtime goal against the St. Cloud Norsemen that got the streak to ten games. It was one of, if not the highest point of the season and fitting for Troutwine to be involved in. In 13 games between February 18 and earlier this month, April 2, Trouts had 15 points to supplement his case in earning a Division I commitment. The Top Prospects tournament certainly supplied a suitable starting point in showcasing what the defenseman had to offer, but his play thereafter solidified the fact that Troutwine was a top-tier d-man more than deserving of a commitment.
Fast forward to the final week of the regular season, and Troutwine finally, after his dominant second year in the league, had landed his commitment to college hockey with the College of the Holy Cross Crusaders.
“There were many different things that factored into my decision,” Troutwine said, “but some of the main ones were the great coaching staff I met when I visited, the campus, the great education system I’d be getting there. As a whole, I just had a great feeling about it.”
The Crusaders hockey program began in 1966 as a Division II program. When Division II ice hockey was abandoned in 1984, Holy Cross dropped down to Division III and was placed in ECAC East when ECAC 2 split. They made the ECAC tournament three out of four years but couldn’t manage a win. The Crusaders resurrected their program with their winningest season in 1998 and were promoted to Division I, where they now remain. The Crusaders have appeared in the NCAA Tournament two times in 2004 and 2006, and have a combined record of 1-2. Both losses came against North Dakota.
Troutwine will turn 20 years old this June and will be able to look back at a very productive second year in Janesville and hopefully have some great moments and memories to hang on to. Anyone that knows this group that’s gelled together under head coach Parker Burgess understands how much of a family it’s become, and Troutwine credits plenty of that to the skipper.
“I’ve had a great time in Janesville. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to play after high school,” said Troutwine. “[Coach] Parker has been an amazing head coach the last two years in helping me on the ice and a great person off the ice. He made me extremely comfortable as a player, and I’m grateful for everything he’s done.”
Troutwine joins three of his buddies in the d-core and marks the sixth commitment for the Jets in the 2021-22 year.