Jacob Trouba has requested a trade from the Winnipeg Jets. The Edmonton Oilers, like many other teams, have a need for defensive help on the right side. Is there an opportunity here for the club to further bolster the position?
Kurt Overhardt, the agent who represents Trouba, released a statement Saturday detailing his client’s trade request. Sportsnet published a copy of that statement; the key passage is quoted below:
There has been no negotiation regarding the terms of a contract between our client and the Jets over the course of the last several months. The situation is not about money; it is solely about our client having the opportunity to realize his potential as a right shot NHL defenseman.
Winnipeg is of course the home to both Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers, both strong right-shooting defencemen. Byfuglien was recently extended through 2021, while Myers is in his mid-twenties and has three seasons left on his contract.
It has been evident for a while now that the Jets have an overabundance of quality right shot defencemen. The contract impasse with Trouba, along with his request for a trade, is likely to force movement. I can’t help wondering if dealing away Myers isn’t the best choice for Winnipeg, though the trouble with that idea is that Myers will be paid an average of just $3.5 million for the next three season and the Jets need to be cost-conscious. More likely, Trouba’s request will result in the trade of Trouba.
There isn’t much question that the Oilers should be following this situation closely.
We’ve talked about Trouba on this website previously. He’s just 22 years old, from the same draft class as Griffin Reinhart; he’s only one year older than Darnell Nurse. Despite this, he’s already a proven major-league defenceman capable of playing in all situations. He’s big, he’s physical, he’s a great skater, he’s good with the puck and we aren’t even close to seeing him in his prime yet.
The real selling point here is the addition of Trouba, coming on the heels of the Taylor Hall-for-Adam Larsson trade, would give Edmonton an incredibly formidable top four on defence:
- Oscar Klefbom – Adam Larsson
- Andrej Sekera – Jacob Trouba
If Peter Chiarelli really wants to accelerate the Oilers’ rise from the bottom of the league, that’s the way to do it.
The cost of any deal is likely to be dear, but that shouldn’t necessarily stop Chiarelli from pursuing a trade. The addition of Larsson, after all, came at a heavy cost, but Edmonton’s management decided it was worthwhile because in their view it made the team more balanced and competitive.
Something built around Darnell Nurse is the obvious package.
Winnipeg has decent depth down the middle, between emerging pivot Mark Scheifele and veteran Bryan Little, and that’s before we even get into Mathieu Perreault or their ridiculous collection of young forwards. Left-shooting defencemen, on the other hand, are in short supply in Manitoba. With all due respect toward 30-somethings Toby Enstrom and Mark Stuart, the Jets could really use an upgrade there, particularly an upgrade who is the same age as their emerging players.
The Oilers have plenty of futures they could toss in to sweeten such a deal, starting with Griffin Reinhart.
Whether Winnipeg would consider a package built around Nurse is another question entirely, but for the Oilers its close to a no-brainer. Between Klefbom, Sekera, Davidson, Nurse, Reinhart, and virtually every single prospect of note in the system, Edmonton’s pretty much covered on the left side for the foreseeable future. The same isn’t true on the right side, where it’s basically Larsson and Fayne.
Of course, the Oilers aren’t the only team with a need for help on the right side. The Jets aren’t in a great position, what with the season being right around the corner and Trouba unsigned, but they do have one advantage: Just about everybody could use a good right-shooting defenceman.