Last night the New York Rangers acquired Jacob Trouba from the Winnipeg Jets for Neal Pionk and the 20th pick (the pick they traded to NYR at the deadline) in Friday’s NHL draft. Trouba wasn’t going to re-sign with the Jets, so they had to move him, but this looks like a big win for the Rangers. If you combine the trade deadline trade with this one, the Jets essentially traded Jacob Trouba and Brendon Lemieux to the Rangers for Neal Pionk and 20 games of Kevin Hayes. They traded their first round pick to acquire Hayes, and then got it back when they dealt Trouba. Trouba wasn’t going to re-sign with the Jets, and seemed very specific on which teams he would re-sign with so that likely impacted the return. Also the fact the Rangers weren’t allowed to speak with him prior to the deal, to discuss a contract extension, also impacted the return. I’m curious why the Jets wouldn’t have allowed that, or maybe the Rangers knew he’d sign with them, so they didn’t push for it, to lower the return.
The Jets are up against the cap as they have to re-sign RFAs Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, Andrew Copp and Pionk along with UFAs Tyler Myers and Brandon Tanev. They have $25 million in cap space to sign those players, so they should get at least four, possibly five of them signed. Tanev is likely to test the market and he is a solid bottom six option. He is a tenacious, good skating left winger who can kill penalties. He chipped in 14-15-29 last year with decent underlying numbers.
Don’t be surprised if the Rangers make some other deals this week. I hear they want to unload Vlad Namestnikov, but at $4 million, they might have to eat some salary to do it. He has one year remaining on his deal.
I’m surprised the Flyers didn’t land Trouba. He is exactly what they need and they have a lot of cap space to sign him. I expect the Flyers to be a big player in free agency or a trade. I’m surprised Shayne Gostisbehere’s name is out there, but I’ve read about it enough to think where there is smoke there’s fire. He has the 14th most points among D-men the past four years, and he is sixth in PP points over that time. I recognize his underlying numbers aren’t great, but how much of that is due to him and Ivan Provorov, two young defenders, being paired together for over 1,000 minutes the past three years and facing tough competition?
He isn’t a great defender yet, but he is so good offensively, I’d take the chance to acquire him and work on his defensive deficiencies. He also has an excellent cap hit at $4.5 million for another four years. I’m not sure he fits for the Oilers, as he shoots left, but if the rumours are true about him being on the block, I’d guess many teams would be interested.
And the Nikolaj Ehlers trade rumours are heating up. After 64 and 60 point seasons he only produced 37 points in 62 games last year. Opposing teams will try to buy low, especially knowing the Jets’ cap situation. The Blue Jackets will need some scoring after Artemi Panarin leaves, and maybe Matt Duchene does too.
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