Born: Aug 26, 1990
Drafted: Boston - 7th Round, 2010 (#210 Overall)
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Once again, our Top 25 Under 25 is packed with two-way defensemen.
Zach Trotman made one of the biggest jumps on our list, and is looking to be a true diamond in the rough. Much like Torey Krug who wasn't drafted at all, the Bruins took a flyer on Trotman, who was the last selection of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. But his reward has exceeded expectations, and he's looking to be a legit piece in the Providence defense this year--a necessity with Bart, Krug, Miller and potentially Warsofsky platooned in the NHL.
Zach isn't a lock to make consistent spot starts in Boston, but he did make his NHL debut last year, playing two games with the Bruins mid-way through the season. He also improved in his sophomore season with Providence, increasing his point total by 33% in just five more games. He added four assists during the P-Bruins playoff run.
Zach's offense was eclipsed by fellow Providence prospects David Warsofsky and Joe Morrow, but Trotman improved on the blue line, tying Mike Moore for the highest plus/minus among defensemen at +13. While he has offensive skill to an extent, he's projected to be more of a lock-down defenseman with some two-way upside.
He should also fit Julien's system quite nicely, as he can stay in his lanes.
The biggest advantage, literally, that Trots has is his size. At 6'3" and 219, he is bigger and heavier than the aforementioned Morrow, Bartkowski, and Warsofsky, and towers over Torey Krug, as well as Johnny Boychuk, Kevan Miller, and Dennis Seidenberg. Size doesn't always translate to strength, but hey... it couldn't hurt to have a couple guys over 6'0" on the Bruins' D.
Bleacher Report projects him as a second pairing defenseman, but he's probably a 5th or 6th defenseman on a Stanley Cup contender. While he does a lot of things well, he doesn't do anything great just quite yet.
But if he hits his ceiling, he'll fill a role that Krug, Bart, Wars and Morrow can't--the defensive defenseman. As Chara and Seidenberg get older, the younger group will be slowly integrated. Trotman is one of the few near-NHL-ready prospects that focus primarily on defense. Signed to a two-year, two-way deal over the summer, Chiarelli either plans on Zach proving himself as a leader down in Providence, or will look to ship him for a decent return next offseason.
Either way, it's a show-me year for Trots.