Longtime friends Brady Skjei and Jacob Trouba talk about reuniting on the Rangers, share childhood stories
Brady Skjei and Jacob Trouba have been friends since they were teens and now trying to win in New York
With the New York Rangers acquiring defenseman Jacob Trouba in June of 2019, defenseman Brady Skjei not only got a teammate he felt would help be a piece of the puzzle the team needed for future success, but got to see his childhood friend repping the same colors as him. Skjei and Trouba met ten years ago while they were roommates at a developmental camp for the American National Team and throughout the decade have stayed in touch.
Trouba broke the news to his friend by saying, "What's up teammate" on a FaceTime call, causing the two to scream and yell a few Let's go's.
Despite a bromance spanning states and lasting years, the friendship did not get off to a great start.
Trouba told PEOPLE:
"I was originally thrown under the bus the first day that I met him. We were originally roommates in development camp for the American National Team, we were probably 15, and I overslept, and Brady left me sleeping when he went to the game."
Skjei defending his actions saying, "He was already on the team, so I was just trying to crack the roster."
It clearly ended up working out alright for both of them, despite any "Overslept-gate" and now the two could not be happier to share the ice at Madison Square Garden and work together to create a winning program in New York. Both players were taken in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft with Trouba going ninth overall to the the Winnipeg Jets and Skjei taken in the 28th spot by the Rangers.
When the Ranger picked up Trouba from the Jets in exchange for Neal Pionk and the 20th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Skjei had high praise for his friend.
"He's the kind of guy who can play in all situations. He's just all around a really good defenseman, and he's been that same way for forever since I've known him. He's been the kind of guy who can do it all. Definitely a huge pickup for us," he said.
Before reuniting in New York the two saw each other as much as possible when they visited each other's cities. "I've had a great relationship with Brady for a long time. When he's in Winnipeg, we'd usually go to dinner, and I'd see him when I'd come to New York the last couple of years. We've always been close," he said.
They were able to get so close thanks to being in the same subdivision in Ann Arbor, Michigan and would carpool together, attended the same prom and between practice and games be regular kids.
Their friendship provides some great teammate throwbacks of them at the pool and hanging out as teens.
The now-25-year-olds have been a duo on the ice in the back part of this season so far.
The Rangers have not had a perfect season by any means thus far, sitting at 22-19-4 with just 48 points near the bottom of the Metropolitan division standings. The duo had high hopes for success heading into the season and both commented that the pair's work ethic and drive to fit in fits in with what the Rangers are looking to accomplish in the near future.
The "marquee guy" as Skjei called Trouba has 22 points on seven goals and 15 assists so far this year.