Jacob Trouba: Go For It

We’ve had the night to consider the possibility that the Oilers should pursue Jacob Trouba and like most people, when I woke up it still sounded like a good idea. Here is a collection of my thoughts on the matter.

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What’s His Deal?

There is something about Jacob Trouba that has always struck me as a tad overrated. That’s not to say he isn’t good, just that his early success has carried him pretty far. That rookie season as a teenage defender in the NHL he posted 29 points in 65 games. That’s pretty darned good! The problem is that his point totals have dropped in each of the next two seasons. This past season he had just 21 in 82 games. That kind of decline on the surface isn’t immediately appealing. Garret Hohl of JetsNation tackled that subject here. The conclusions being that the decline in scoring has a lot to do with Trouba’s usage. For example, declining PP time and playing his off-side.

Usage, for Trouba, isn’t just a sticking point for bloggers. It’s the primary reason why the 22-year-old defender wants out of the Jets organization. When Trouba was playing in the perceived top four of the Jets he was skating on the left side with either Byfuglien or Myers. If he wasn’t playing in the top four and was on his natural side, he was playing with boat anchor Mark Stuart. No matter which option they used, Trouba was in an uncomfortable position.

Jacob Trouba’s 5v5 metrics from his three NHL seasons combined look like this:

3554:47, 2.28 GF60, 2.21 GA60, 50.8 GF%, 58.28 CF60, 54.25 CA60, 51.8 CF%

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For such a young player, this is very good. That said, the Jets in general over that time had a 50.8 GF% and a 51.3 CF%, so Trouba’s numbers are in line with team performance as a whole. But what about that Mark Stuart boat anchor thing?

Here are the WOWYs for Trouba and Stuart

Trouba with Stuart

2050:26, 0.64 P60, 2.08 GF60, 2.31 GA60, 47.3 GF%, 56.68 CF60, 55.51 CA60, 50.5 CF%

Trouba without Stuart

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1504.21, 0.80 P60, 2.55 GF60, 2.07 GA60, 55.2 GF%, 60.46 CF60, 52.53 CA60, 53.5 CF%

Stuart without Trouba

911:06, 0.26 P60, 1.98 GF60, 1.84 GA60, 51.7 GF%, 50.71 CF60, 59.60 CA60, 46.0 CF%

I didn’t want to include another line for Stuart with Trouba since the on-ice numbers would be the same as Trouba with Stuart, but his points per 60 minutes drastically fall from 0.47 points per 60 minutes (which isn’t that great anyway) to 0.26 points per 60 minutes when he’s away from him. Basically, every measure we have for performance shows that Trouba has been carrying Stuart from the time he entered the NHL as a 19-year-old.

What’s This Going To Cost?

Hey, my valuation of players and understanding of the market has been completely set on fire since the Oilers traded Hall for Larsson. In that context, it should roughly cost the Oilers Jordan Eberle, Oscar Klefbom, and the first born sons of Egypt to get Trouba. More realistically, the acquisition price should be a comparably young left-handed defender under club control and with a high ceiling.

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On Edmonton, something resembling a one for one swap should probably be Darnell Nurse for Jacob Trouba. Trouba and Nurse are only a year apart. Nurse is a lefty locked on the third pair with two better players ahead of him. Trouba is a righty locked on the third pair with “better” players ahead of him. Trouba has accomplished much more at the NHL level. Nurse is seen as a “five tool player” with a very high ceiling. The fit seems good.

However, the Oilers appear to be very bullish on Nurse. He plays the game the way the management wants the Oilers to play. He was a MacT guy and MacT still has a voice on this team. Chiarelli and McLellan have recently commented on how much bigger and stronger Nurse is coming into camp. They see him as a complete defender in the NHL one day very soon. That’s worth a lot.

Members of the Edmonton media contingent have also said that the Oilers would not want to trade Darnell Nurse, even for a player who appears to be an upgrade and plays a more critical position. I won’t waste too much time saying that this is a bad idea, though it is bizarre considering what the Oilers were willing to part with to get Larsson. I will state that I actually believe the reports that the Oilers are loathed to move Nurse.

So what kind of package can the Oilers create that satisfies the Jets’ desire for a young LHD in return for Trouba? The best package I can come up with that doesn’t involve Nurse is:

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Griffin Reinhart, 2017 1st Round pick (not protected), and Caleb Jones/Ethan Bear

It’s the best I can come up with. I think many other teams can offer comparable or better packages that include young LHD who are already established NHL players. The inclusion of the 1st round pick and Edmonton’s Decade of Disaster is probably the most enticing part for the Jets.

If it comes down to moving Nurse or not. I think the Oilers should heavily consider it.

Jacob Trouba is a 22-year-old 6’3″ 200+ pound defender who has a track record of playing a great two-way game from the time he entered the NHL as a teenager. This is an exciting young player and one who likely hasn’t even reached his peak. He might even be better than he’s shown to date because he’s been dragging Mark Stuart around NHL rinks for three years and when he hasn’t, he’s been playing his off-side. Edmonton can make a play to solidify their top 4 now and in the future by acquiring this player.

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Go for it!


  • Eddie O rules!

    The ask from wpg would be way more than the vast majority of these posters are suggesting they’d give up. Apparently Trouba has been shopped since May. If the Oil were interested in him he’d already be on the team instead of Larsson. Considering Chiarelli traded Seguin over character issues I can see how he’d value Larsson over Trade Me Now Trouba. I don’t see the Oil being involved in talks at all at this point.

  • CLubhouse

    Its a no brainer to get this done even at high cost.

    Reasons why time to sell a little of the future:

    Mcdavid ELC
    Lucic Prime 7 x 7 years
    Need a #2 RHD badly

    So yes I trade Nurse or Klefbom plus.

    In my mind it’ll take this at least

    Pou, Nurse, 2017 1st

    Helps WPG there needs are LW vet & LHD and doesn’t necessarily hurt us too much. The hole it creates is a 3rd line LW we can find that or bring a guy up. Clears enough salary and gets us the player we need. I love Nurse hell be a beast but in 2-3 more years we need someone who can play 20 min today just look at Trouba’s usage in World cup enough said go get him. Don’t worry about the expansion it’ll either be Davidson or Reinhart that goes regardless.

  • someguy

    Why are people still ragging on the Oilers about the Larsson trade? I’m looking at you Henderson….

    The difference between that trade and one involving Trouba is Larsson – whether some of you want to admit it or not – IS a legit top pairing d-man. He played on the top pairing in Jersey and chances are he’ll play on the top pairing here.

    Trouba, on the other hand, not so much. It seems right now his ceiling is, at most, a 2nd pairing d-man.

    I say if they want anyone else other than Reinhart as the centerpiece they’re dreaming in technicolor. Trouba has asked to get out, so trade options will NOT be a top quality guy in return – think Pronger trade style.

    If Cheveldayoff digs in his heels and becomes stubborn, all he’s doing is creating a distraction for his team that will diminish it’s performance in the coming season and will likely get him fired.

    Offer them Reinhart and maybe a minor sweetner thrown in at most and that’s it.

    Plus, isn’t he asking for way too much money anyway? Funk that. 🙂