Trouba trade: Can it work for Oilers?


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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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

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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?

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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.

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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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  • Namudi

    K lets be real guys, the guy just played in world cup on a teamed coached by mclellan and captained by mcdavid. Oilers need right shot defense, top 4d. he obviously wants to be an oiler. It’s very important that we don’t pass on trouba if we can get a stud like trouba we shore up the defense. What will it cost?

    They need lefty defense.


    All these guys are lefties.

    I say trade Griffin Reinhart+ that’s all.

    If they want to honor the players request they are dealing from a position of weakness.

  • We have to trade a player we will need to protect. Would the Jets have to protect Nurse if we traded him? If they don’t this is additional value for them. Also we have a lot of depth on left wing, why not offer them Pouliot, Yak and maybe be Mucil?

  • RyanCoke

    If i am the Jets, nurse for trouba sounds amazing. Lhd that is expansion protected? Hell yes. As an oilers fan I am happy with the deal as well to get that righty lefty balance.

  • O.C.

    I accepted one overpay for a glaring hole. I won’t accept another overpay for a second line RHD that probably will improve the team, at the expense of a first line RHD, cap concerns, another top 6, causing loss of valuable assets at expansion, or Darnell Nurse.

    I see Nurse having a long term upside that provides speed, toughness, skill, and other items. He wants to be the 23 – 25 m guy that puts fear in the opposition.

    Best to package up Davidson as you’ll lose him in expansion, and with Klefbom and Nurse soaking up left side minutes, it’s a good move.

      • O.C.

        “The dick mode is strong with this one.”

        Ummm, no. I try not to mirror your emotional responses.

        If a trade is made, and it isn’t to my liking, I will say “That trade is unacceptable.”

        Is that too confusing for you? I could dumb it down a bit more.

        • I am Batman

          Yeah, maybe dumb it down a bit for me to understand why would I care for how you feel about a trade. Why would anyone care for that matter.

          Happy Sunday, hope you have an “acceptable” one!

  • madjam

    Any trade for Trouba starts with Nurse plus . We would not trade Trouba for Nurse , and neither would Winnipeg unless they were desperate . The only thing Nurse is better at than Trouba is fisticuffs , But Trouba no slouch in the physical side of game . So who might that addition be ? Lander ?

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I can’t remember, and maybe it was said before, but does Nurse have to be protected? If not then he’s a non starter, imo.

    Trade Davidson, and Osterle plus next years 1st for Trouba.

    Oilers have Laleggia, Musil, Jones, Bear, Benning all waiting in the wings over the next couple years time to purge the system a bit.

    Or could always offer sheet Troubadour and just give up a 1,2,3 round picks, lol!

  • PimKing

    i wouldnt trade for this guy unless its a steal. Who wants a cryer who wont just play his way into the winnipeg top 4 and make Myers expendable? Myers and his cheap contract would get alot of attention if he was up for trade. Trouba is gonna want a boat full of money as well. Big $$$ + whinner = no thanks we can do better. Why not try and get Myers instead or shoot for the moon in Big Buff and let them keep Trouba. Nurse is what this team needs on the backend for 10-15 years id hate to give him up for what seems to me to be a 22 year old princess who cant get her way…

  • Joy S. Lee

    Would Davidson + a 3rd and one of Reinhart/Musil/Simpson be close enough to get both sides talking? (Maybe Katz can imitate McNall and throw in some cash 😉

  • aspin

    Jason, don’t get me wrong. I so do not want to trade Nurse for Trouba but your position in this article seems to be a complete about-face from your position on June 20th:

    It is too early to worry about which player the Oilers might lose in the expansion draft. If Chiarelli adds two quality defenders and the Oilers have more than three competent D-men this is a good problem. It shouldn’t be looked at as a negative. He could trade Brandon Davidson, for instance, before the expansion draft if necessary. The Oilers need to improve now, and suggesting Chiarelli only add one defender to protect others in the expansion draft is a loser mentality in my eyes. This organization needs to improve today, not worry about which player they might lose to Las Vegas in 12 months time.

  • CapeBretonOilers

    If the Oilers give up anyone except for yakupov and a 2nd rounder for this guy I’m going to be pissed.

    Leave Nurse alone. Leave Klefboom alone.