As the NHL season just gets underway, so do the season long trade rumors that spill in from the offseason every year.
Perhaps the biggest name on the trade front is Winnipeg defenseman Jacob Trouba, who has requested a move multiple times — but the Jets have yet to find a trade partner for the young blue liner.
Per Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet in Canada, Trouba’s most recent request to get out of Winnipeg was on September 23rd. Trouba has yet to see the ice for the Jets this season, and will likely continue to hold out until his demand is met.
His agent, Kurt Overhardt, released this statement back in September upon Trouba’s request to be traded:
“Our client, Jacob Trouba, will not be attending the Winnipeg Jets NHL training camp. Since May, we have been working with the Jets management in an effort to facilitate a trade of Jacob’s rights. Both parties continue to work on this matter.
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.
To the Jets credit, the club has two outstanding right shot veteran defensemen and our client simply wants the opportunity to have a greater role. As a consequence of the Jets depth on the right side, we believe it is in both parties’ best interest to facilitate a mutually advantageous trade.
Our client has nothing but respect for the people and City of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Jets, its fans, management and ownership – our desire to get him moved has everything to do with opportunity. We will continue to work with the Jets in good faith to achieve this end.”
It has been said that his request is all about wanting to play in the top-4 of a defensive group — as a right-handed shot, he is in a logjam of defensemen playing the right side on their pairings with Tyler Myers and Dustin Byfuglien ahead of him.
“I’ve played on the right side for 18 years. As a 22-year-old, I don’t have the opportunity to do it in Winnipeg.”
^This is Trouba’s main reason for wanting out of Winnipeg.^
It makes sense, and he is being as professional as he can be about the situation. The problem has been that the Jets can’t seem to find a suitable trade partner that will give them what they want.
What’s the latest?
Well, it’s been almost a month since Trouba requested the trade, and still the same rumors are floating around. The 22-year old high-potential defenseman is still a hot commodity around the league, and there have been a number of teams rumored to be interested, but nothing imminent.
Where might Jacob Trouba land? Well let’s take a look at a few possible scenerios:
The Penguins have a lot of depth on the blue line with players like Dumoulin, Cole, Maatta and Pouliot behind the veterans Letang and Daley. The thing is, out of the eight defensemen on their roster, only two are right-handed shots — Letang and Justin Schultz — who they acquired late last season and he helps the Pens to the Stanley Cup on their third pairing. The reason they went after Schultz is to add another right-handed shot to their defense, but since he has been a staple to their third pairing, there might be a spot for a guy like Trouba to sneak in on the Pens second pairing.
Pittsburgh has a few expendable young defensemen who could be moved for Trouba — after all, the Jets are looking for a left-handed shooting defenseman in return. Could perhaps a Derek Pouliot, Olli Maatta or Brian Dumoulin be the right piece that Winnipeg is looking for?
One place that always seems to come into play when talking trades for young defensemen is Edmonton. All of that skilled talent up front, but they just cannot seem to win every year because of their defense being so bad. Well, a young guy like Jacob Trouba sure could help out on solidifying their defense.
The trouble is, Winnipeg isn’t interested in trading for a forward like Jordan Eberle or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins… they feel like they have their core group of forwards set with Patrik Laine joining the likes of Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele. Again, they want a left-handed shot defenseman in return.
Well, how about Darnell Nurse? Could he be a guy that the Jets would take in a package deal for Trouba? He is a young, big defenseman with a lot of potential and he shoots from the left side. It is harder to see Edmonton in this mix now that they have Adam Larsson and they already gave up Taylor Hall for him… but you never know, they might look to still add Trouba to the mix if they stay in contention.
This is ultimately where we could see Trouba going. The Ducks are in a whirlpool with their current defensive group and need a shakeup as well. They are having a hard time signing Hampus Lindholm, a restricted free agent who is holding out just like Trouba, and have been rumored to possibly wanting to trade Cam Fowler, Simon Depres or Kevin Bieksa to make room for Lindholm.
Anaheim wants to get Lindholm signed, and they view him as more of a core player than a Cam Fowler to this point. Obviously, it might seem like a nightmare for the Ducks to trade for Trouba and then sign both he and Lindholm — but if they are able to perhaps find a trade partner for a Bieksa or Depres first, then I feel like they would be more inclined to trade Fowler to Winnipeg across for Jacob Trouba.
The Ducks seem to be in the same boat as Winnipeg — except with left-handed shooting defensemen. They currently have Fowler, Depres, a rookie named Jacob Larsson, Clayton Stoner and the unsigned Hampus Lindholm.
Trouba would fit in really nice as a top-4 right handed shot on this team and would be the staple of this defensive group for a long time down the road.
All of Arizona’s top offensive defensemen are left-handed — Ekman-Larsson, Goligoski and Chychrun. They could use a guy like Jacob Trouba on the right side to pair with one of them.
Although they are unlikely to deal Chychrun or Ekman-Larsson to fulfill the Jets’ desires, they do have a load of prospects in this organization that they might just let the Jets pick and choose from.
Other possible suitors
Boston Bruins? Dallas Stars? Detroit Red Wings?
It all seems like quite a mess right now, as nothing seems to be close to happening on this front. There is a December 1st deadline that is approaching quickly that restricted free-agents have to sign by or they risk missing the entire season. The number one question right now is — do the Jets really want to trade Trouba? Or would they rather try as hard as they can to sign him? Would that mean a possible trade of Tyler Myers?