Jeff Gorton did it again. Last night, Gorton acquired defenseman Jacob Trouba from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for pick number 20 (originally the Winnipeg Jets pick) and right handed defenseman, Neil Pionk. I will say this was an absolute steal for Gorton and the Rangers.
In a previous post I discussed why the Rangers NEEDED to trade for Jacob Trouba. Trouba is only 25 years old, a right shot defenseman (a unicorn), and a true number one defenseman. The Rangers had serious defensive woes last year, and this move changes that drastically.
What’s Next With Trouba
Before I dive into what Trouba does for the Rangers and their back end, I want to briefly discuss his contract situation. Trouba is an RFA this summer, and will hit UFA next summer if he gets there. I certainly do not expect Trouba to go to arbitration again this year like he did last year, because I expect a long term deal done in the coming days with the Blueshirts.
The Rangers cannot offer Trouba the 8-year max because he was not on the roster at the last trade deadline, but he will certainly get the 7-year max carrying what I believe to be an AAV of $7 – 7.5 million. Now let’s take a look at what Trouba does for the Rangers back end.
Trouba instantly becomes the Rangers best defenseman, and there is absolutely no debating that. As I mentioned before, he is only 25 years old, so a 7-year deal will work out perfectly in terms of how old he will be through the contract.
A stud d-man
Trouba is a right hand shot who compiled 50 points last year for the Jets while playing in all 82 games. He is a legit top pair defenseman, and will be just that for the Blueshirts night in and night out. After moving on from Pionk, who is a right hand shot, the Rangers now have Trouba, Shattenkirk, DeAngelo, and newly acquired Harvard product Adam Fox on the right side.
The Rangers still have a decision to make there, but I can assure you that Trouba will be the top pair right hand defenseman on a nightly basis. The Rangers just filled one of, if not their biggest need in acquiring Trouba. He is an all situation type player, and a very good one. After the departure of Ryan McDonagh a couple of seasons ago, and the mediocre play of Brady Skjei, the Rangers struggled to find “The Guy” on an struggling back end. There will be no more questions about that.
I have been a fan of Trouba for quite a while now and have been wanting the Rangers to acquire him for over two years. The Rangers got the guy they wanted, but more importantly the guy they needed, for an extremely good price.
After an already exciting start to the offseason for the Rangers, Gorton is headed to the draft on Friday with the number two overall pick which will likely be Kaapo Kakko. Gorton is in the process of building a competitor, and I think they will continue to add after the draft.
Now, the question is where do they add and how do they do it? Word is they will be in a full court press for Artemi Panarin, but yesterday Pierre McGuire is yet another big name analyst who eluded to them maybe offer sheeting a player. This time Mitch Marner’s name was brought up. In what has been an incredible offseason thus far, the Rangers made as big a move as any in acquiring Jacob Trouba.