(Shawn Coates Photography)
Jacob Trouba asked for a trade earlier this year, and recently this became public knowledge which sparked every NHL fan base to throw around garbage hypothetical trades. Allegedly, Trouba wants to play top pairing and feels he is too low on the Jets defensive depth chart. Regardless of reasoning, it appears the Jets are apparently willing to move him with the asking price being a left handed defenseman. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some possible matches around the NHL
For starters, an RFA demanding a trade does not put the Jets in a difficult position like most seem to think. The likes of Marleau, Hamonic and Drouin all demanded trades last season. None were dealt. Like Drouin, Trouba is an RFA, unsigned but still restricted. Let us look at it this way, Trouba doesn’t have to sign, he can withhold, but, so can the Jets. They don’t have to give him a contract or trade him. Though, it can get interesting because a restricted free agent who does not sign a new contract by December 1st becomes ineligible to play for the rest of the season.
Let’s look at how this will likely unfold because the previously mentioned isn’t very likely.
Scenario 1: X-Team offer sheets Jacob Trouba, forcing the Jets to match – which if they do, they cannot trade Trouba for a full year. Or, take the compensation that is determined by of the contract given to Trouba.
Scenario 2: X-Team trades for Trouba’s rights, and then X signs Trouba – simple, and the most likely.
Would Trouba sign the offer sheet and take the risk of having the Jets match it? This would mean he has to stay at least another year and not get his desired role. Or, does he not sign any offer sheets because he really doesn’t like the winters in Winnipeg and feels a trade can be agreed upon soon.
For fun, let’s pretend Winnipeg decide not to match, compensation depending on the contract is as follows for this season:
(I only included these two because it’s unrealistic Trouba would receive anything more with Paul Holmgren no longer holding a GM position)
$3,755,233 to $5,632,847 – First Round & Third Round
$5,632,847 to $7,510,464 – First Round, Second Round, and Third Round
With the offer sheet scenario out of the way let’s look at scenario 2, what Trouba is worth and where I believe he could realistically land.
Over the past 3 seasons Trouba has proven he is capable of holding a top-2 position, keep in mind he is only 22. This analysis is based off of competition faced, scoring rates, shot impacts and much more. He makes a positive impact on his teammates in categories such as CF% and xGF% when he is on the ice. He’s a young right-handed defenseman and can be on your top pairing right away and for many more years to come.
A few of the reported teams to have interest in Jacob Trouba are the Rangers, Red Wings, Oilers, Coyotes, Bruins, Avalanche and Islanders. Based off of the alleged asking price, and for the purpose of this segment, let’s look at 1 for 1 possibilities with the teams that I believe make sense. We live in the cap era, and it’s way too hard to make moves these days. I’m going to keep it as simple as possible without getting in to draft picks etc. A pick could very well be involved, but, the foundation’s of the trade would be as follows – at least according to me.
Ducks – I have 2 possible players for the Ducks. Lindholm (Left) would be a great player to acquire for the Jets. This is another restricted free agent and maybe there is a deal to be made here. Lindholm is better than Trouba now and will be going forward. Another guy is Cam Fowler (Left), it has been said the Ducks are willing to part ways with the player who was once upon a time supposed to be their franchise. This would be a steal for the Ducks, Fowler is an analytics nightmare, and even if the Ducks had to include a high end pick I would run with it.
Islanders – If I had to put money on one of these teams making a deal for Trouba, the Islanders are my pick. Hamonic (Right), I understand this is a right-handed player but taking into account that Hamonic is a Manitoba native and wanted out last year to be closer to his family, this one makes sense. The cap is friendly to Winnipeg, and the Islanders get a similar guy with higher upside. The one thing Garth Snow might feel weary about is giving away the sweet contract Hamonic is currently on, but, when considering Trouba’s upside I think this deal makes sense even with the salary situation.
Oilers – The Edmonton Oilers make a lot of sense for Jacob Trouba as he would be able to jump right in the top-2. There have been rumblings about a deal involving Nurse (Left). This one is a no-brainer if I’m Peter Chiarelli. Trouba is miles ahead of Nurse in every aspect and will continue to expand the gap. If this is all it takes to acquire Trouba, Oil Country should build Chiarelli a statue. I would throw in a pick without hesitation if that gets the deal done. The people who think Hall for Larsson makes sense but Nurse for Trouba doesn’t need help.
Rangers – The New York Rangers need some youth after years of throwing away prospects and picks in order to build for the playoffs and coming short of the Stanley Cup. Ryan McDonagh (Left) is a guy that could head the other way in a deal involving Jacob Trouba. With a cap hit of just $4.7M, he’s an attractive piece for the Jets top 4.
TEAMS WITH AN OUTSIDE CHANCE
Avalanche – Barrie (Right), he’s the only player on their blue line that is worthy of being in discussions for Trouba. Barrie is better than Trouba prodution wise, but we’ve heard about Barrie being undervalued in Colorado and the deal could make sense if they give Trouba the same kind of money. However, with Patrick Roy no longer there to drag down the team maybe they want to hold on to their top defeseman.
Coyotes – We know they have an internal cap and I’m not sure how they feel about giving big money to Trouba. Chychrun (Left) is the guy that makes sense to me on that blueline but I’m not convinced Arizona wants to take out of their prospect pool as they’re trying to build a team that can compete for many years. I’m sure Chayka will try to make something happen if the price is right. I just think it might go against what they’re trying to do.
Where do you think Trouba will go? Or will he get a deal done in Winnipeg?