Jets Trade Trouba To Rangers

by | Jun 17, 2019 | News, NHL, Rumors | 27 comments

The Winnipeg Jets have traded defenseman Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Neal Pionk and the 20th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. 

Jacob Trouba jets to the New York Rangers (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the history of difficult contract negotiations between Trouba and the Jets, it’s no surprise the 25-year-old defenseman is heading to the Rangers. His current one-year, $5.5-million contract was awarded by an arbiter last July. He’s once again a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, only now he’s a year away from unrestricted free agent status.

A 25-year-old top-pairing blueliner coming off a career-best 50-point performance, Trouba was in line for a lucrative new contract. With the Jets facing a salary-cap crunch this summer, he wasn’t going to get it from them. Young scoring winger Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor are RFAs coming off their entry-level contracts and in line for big raises of their own. With over $57 million invested in 14 players, there wasn’t enough room to re-sign all three and leave enough to fill out the rest of their roster.

Pionk, 23, is a skilled puck-moving rearguard who put up a respectable 26 points in his sophomore season with the rebuilding Rangers. He logged top-four defense minutes with the Blueshirts and can expect more of the same with the Jets. Like Laine and Connor, Pionk is a restricted free agent completing his entry-level contract. Unlike those two, he’ll be an affordable re-signing for the Jets.  In time, perhaps, he’ll offset the absence of Trouba.

Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff also got back the first-round pick he shipped to the Rangers at the trade deadline as part of the deal for center Kevin Hayes. With Trouba gone, Cheveldayoff could increase efforts to re-sign pending UFA defenseman Tyler Myers. 

Still, it’s a disappointing return for Trouba. There was an expectation he could fetch an established top-pairing defenseman or perhaps a scoring center to line up alongside Laine. However, this might not be the only move Cheveldayoff has in store in the coming days. Perhaps his recently reacquired first-round pick could be used in a package to bring in a better asset. 

Landing Trouba is a significant addition to a Rangers’ defense corps that struggled throughout 2018-19. He’ll automatically become their first-pairing, right-side defenseman.

The Rangers certainly got the better of this deal. Now, they have to re-sign him. Trouba could seek around $8 million annually on a long-term deal. With over $63 million invested in 19 players, they have the cap space to do it but it’ll push their payroll to over $71 million.

That could crimp their rumored efforts to pursue a high-scoring forward like Artemi Panarin or Matt Duchene via the UFA market. Recent speculation suggests the Rangers could attempt to cut costs by trading or buying out a veteran defenseman like Kevin Shattenkirk or Brendan Smith.


  1. Seems like a bad return. Trouba as a self rental makes more sense than what they actually got back here. The bidding war looks like it was fake news after all.

    • Hearing trouba gave a list that he would resign in and the rangers were the only team on that list that had room to extend him?

      • But would they have gotten much less at the TDL for him as a playoff rental? Not like he had a NTC.

      • i Guess make the trade in case of injury?

      • I would of moved Laine to help with the cap crunch. Moved big buff if needed and gone with Morrisey and Teouba as the top pairing.

        But hey there is a reason i knlh watch the game.

  2. Certain … posters … seemed to poo poo those that thought that this was about what a borderline top pair was worth. Will we see any humility? Maybe some heroic honorific humility? Or any other triple letter type of recognition of certain people’s lack of understanding of how this league works? I sincerely doubt it.

    • Hopefully your head will fit through the doors now after making such a bold prediction a top dman would make a lot of money as a free agent !

      • 😂😂😂😂

      • 🤣🤣🤣🤣

    • I believe these are the same posters that were saying that Karlsson wouldn’t get paid

  3. Now we wait and see if he signs with the Rangers or he plays out his last RFA year to get his UFA deal

  4. If the Rangers extend him AND move Shattenkirk this is a good deal. But I have never been sold on Trouba as a top pairing…

    I am one of the few Ranger fans who preferred Pionk over ADA.

    • Interesting it only cost Pionk & the 20th.

      If Trouba pairs extremely well with Skjei on the top paring then he will certainly be extended right away.

      Allows Shattenkirk to slot 3rd pairing with Hajek and Staal with ADA

      2 yrs left of Smith and Shatts then KeAndre Miller should be ready.

      • I can’t help but think that Winnipeg’s management knows the trouba will not sign long-term with anyone at this point. Time will tell, but if he does sign long-term with the Rangers I don’t see how cheveldayoff keeps his job.

    • ADA is in a completely different class. Poink was given every opportunity to succeed and failed to deliver. ADA is gritty, lightning crisp passes and was a plus player on the worst defense ever.

    • Ds, I’m right there with you on Pionk. I’ve been saying all along Deangelo looks like MDZ part deux . Deangelo shows some promise, much Mike MDZ but also shows he can come unglued at times. (Unlike MDZ)

      Its not often great young defensemen are traded TWICE during their elc. And when I say not often…. I mean never. Can’t think of ONE example.

      All that being said, Trouba is far better than any current NYR defenseman. Fits perfectly into this NY rebuild. Great fit, great price.

  5. This is good. I liked Pionk but he was still a year or two away from being comfortable as a top four NHL defender. Trouba is an upgrade over every d-man on the roster, and has the ability to QB a power play, which was pretty bad in 18-19. Maybe not a Karlsson, but certainly a building block. Maybe replace Smith with Ke’Andre Miller and that six man unit looks pretty okay in 19-20.

    • He does NOT have QB ability.

    • ADA can quarterback the PP, or even Shattenkirk if they don’t buy him out or trade him. Trouba gives them the honest-to-god NHL quality defenseman in his prime that they desperately need(ed).

  6. This is an absolute steal for Rangers. Return is even less than if they had offer sheeted him. From Jets side, they basically have given up Trouba and Lemeax for Pionk and Hayes rental. From Rangers side, Jeff Gorton has had a pretty good off season so far. He’s acquired Trouba and Fox for a 1st, 2 2nd’s and 6/7 d man

    • Gorton is the man. Google what he did as the Bruins interim GM in one off season. The dude should have his name on the cup after their win in 2011.
      They should have kept him instead of signing PC. He will get the Rangers turned around, and took a big step today.
      Patient enough to wait for opportunities and then gets it done.

      • Absolutely, my thoughts as well Ray.
        Great trade for the stupid Rags.

  7. Skjei, Staal, Smith and Hajek on the left. Trouba, Fox, D’Angelo and Shattenkirk on the right. I can live with this defense corps and think it will get better as time goes on. Nice mixture of veteran presence and youth. Possibly buy-out/trade Smith and use Claesson on the left to save some cap space. Also have some nice prospects on defense to replace Shattenkirk and Staal in the future. Gorton is doing a great job so far in this re-build.

  8. This is simply a bad deal by Cheveldayoff; reports of a bidding war? The battle didn’t begin but the war is over.
    Chevy is getting lite up on the twitter boards here in Winnipeg most are flabbergasted that this is all he got for Trouba. They are breaking down the trade as: Trouba and Lemiuex for Boink and Hayes who has now left (and this Bruins fan is hoping he signs in Philly).
    Just read Trouba interview after the trade, where he claims he enjoyed Winnipeg and the reason he wanted out of Winnipeg because his girlfriend/fiancé is studying to be a Doctor and her career is as important as his.

    Winnipeg would not give the Rangers permission to talk to Trouba camp, Why? Does this mean Chevy believes Trouba will not sign long term in NY? Also no condition on the return no second or third round pick if the Rangers are able to resign Trouba.
    There is suppose to be a high demand for Right shot Defenseman , which is the side Trouba plays and the only side he will play.
    In the end you have a top pairing defenseman, who shoots right and there is a bidding war for his service, time left on the clock to wait, but the offer is so good you come away with Doink!

  9. Yikes! This isn’t the way I would want to start an uncertain off season if I were a Jets fan.

    • As a Jets fan, I can’t say I’m happy with the return. The only thing I can say it helps with cap space to sign Laine and Connors. I would have hoped for more draft picks in the trade but what is done is done. There could be more trades in the works, can’t judge until after the draft. RANGER FANS you got a great two way defenceman. Trouba didn’t play much PP time, maybe he will start off with 2nd PP with Rangers. As for you Leafsfan39, just wait until your team has to sign Marner and see what happens with the trickle down effect to some of your other players. It’s gonna suck to be a Leaf’s fan this summer! lol

  10. If Trouba doesn’t re-sign with the Rangers (He sounded like he wants to do so in phone interview) they can flip him at the Trade Deadline,and get a lot more than they gave up….It came down to Trouba and Lemieux for Hayes and Pionk…Great deal for Gorton….