Winnipeg Jets defender Jacob Trouba had asked for a trade. The 9th overall pick in the 2012 draft needs a contract, and now that he’s made his trade demands public the return might be lower. It depends on how desperate or patient the Jets will be.
Just spoke with #nhljets D Jacob Trouba: “I want to play on the right side to realize my potential. That’s not going to happen in Wpg.”
— gary lawless (@garylawless) September 24, 2016
In his conversation with Lawless, Trouba also added.
“This has nothing to do with Winnipeg as a city. This is about me getting the chance to be the best player I can be. I’ve worked hard to get this far. I don’t want to look back in 20 years and wish I hadn’t just gone with the flow. Sometimes you have to put yourself first. This isn’t an easy decision. But I want to play on the right side.”
I’m certain we will hear some suggesting he has character issues because of this, similar to how some disagreed with Jonathan Drouin’s stance this past season. The Lightning were in a different situation. They had so much depth they didn’t need Drouin when he demanded a trade after they sent him to the American Hockey League.
The Jets aren’t as deep as the Lightning. They do have a a very solid defence, but their three best defenders all shoot right; Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers and Trouba.
I can understand Trouba wanting to play the right side. He feels more comfortable there, but I also wonder how much of it has to do with contract negotiations. I’m sure the almighty dollar will play a small part.
With Trouba making it clear he wants to play the right side, and the Oilers need of another top-four RD, it makes sense for Peter Chiarelli to reach out to Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.
Cheveldayoff will be patient, and he does hold all the cards. If he doesn’t make a trade, Trouba has until December 1st to sign a contract or he can’t play in the NHL this season. Will he want to sit out an entire year and lose out on millions of dollars? Unlikely, so while Trouba’s camp asked for a trade today, I don’t expect the Jets to panic.
WHAT WILL IT TAKE?
What will a team need to give up to acquire Trouba?
We will all have some trade ideas, but honestly, it will depend on Cheveldayoff. When you look at recent trades for young D-men, the return varies significantly.
Adam Larsson was traded for Taylor Hall. Many felt the Oilers overpaid.
Calgary acquired Dougie Hamilton for a first rounder (16th pick) and two second rounders. Many felt Boston got fleeced, and a year later it sure looks that way.
Winnipeg acquired Myers along with Drew Stafford, prospects Joel Armia, Brandon Lemieux and a 1st round pick for Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian and prospect goalie Jason Kandorf. At the time many saw it as a win for both sides, but Kane’s off-ice issues have made it look great for the Jets 18-months later.
The return for a young defender can vary a lot depending on what a team is willing to give up.
What would Chiarelli offer?
It seems many Oilers fans, and some pundits believe a deal begins with Darnell Nurse. I can understand that, but the expansion draft alters that thinking in my mind, not to mention I’m not certain about the ceiling of either Nurse or Trouba moving forward
Let’s say Nurse and Trouba are the main principles. The Oilers might have to add something else, but not much in my eyes because the Trouba has made it clear he wants out and he’ll demand a big salary.
The other issue I see from an Oilers stand point is, if you acquire Trouba for Nurse, it means you have to expose Brandon Davidson in the expansion draft and lose him for nothing.
Is Trouba worth both Nurse and Davidson? I’m not sold he is long-term.
I believe the June expansion draft will impact any trade involving Trouba.
The other factor is: How good will Trouba and Nurse be in three years?
I don’t think any of us can answer that with certainty. Today, Trouba has more experience and he’s been more productive in the NHL. However, his first season was great, but the past two he hasn’t had the same success.
Nurse had to play 20 minutes/game as a rookie defender last season and he had a constant rotation of defence partners. He played 1118 EV minutes, and the most he played with one partner was 392 minutes with Andrej Sekera (only 35% of his total EV minutes). It is hard enough breaking into the NHL, but when you are switching D partners regularly it makes it even harder. His next most regular partners were Justin Schultz (245 minutes) and Adam Clendenning (188 minutes). They were not experienced or proven blueliners.
Trouba’s rookie season he played 58% of his 1073 EV minutes with Mark Stuart. A solid, but not spectacular veteran. He spent the remaining time between Byfuglien, Bogosian and Tobias Enstrom. All solid top-four defenders.
Over his three-year career he has played 3554 EV minutes. He’s played 2050 with Stuart, 829 with Byfuglien, 272 with Myers and 249 with Enstrom. He has been paired with experienced and competent partners. He’s also had to play the left side sometimes, and clearly doesn’t feel as comfortable on that side.
His partners have been better than Nurse’s. I’m not saying Nurse is better, but I am also not willing to write him off because he wasn’t a star as a rookie. Nurse is a great skater, and the game is about speed more and more. He’s tough. He’s competitive. He has leadership qualities and he can improve.
Trouba also has many great qualities and I believe his best years are still ahead of him. I respect a player who realizes his strengths and weaknesses. I will not look at his willingness to want to play the right side as a character flaw.
A Nurse for Trouba deal has merit, but does it make sense for the Oilers if they make the deal in October and then lose Davidson in the expansion draft? For some it will, for others it won’t.
I am rather bullish on Nurse. I believe his upside is quite high, but I also don’t see him reaching it for a few seasons.
Ultimately it will depend what Chiarellii believes is the right move, or if the Jets are even willing to make a deal.
What would you give up to acquire Trouba?
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