The New York Rangers have made a trade with the Winnipeg Jets for defenseman Jacob Trouba.
Cheveldayoff Making Another Move With NYR
Trouba will be a restricted free agent on July 1st and he hasn’t been open to signing a long-term deal in the past with Winnipeg. With Trouba’s interest levels of remaining in Winnipeg being very low, Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff called his friends in Manhattan to work out a trade.
It wasn’t very long ago that the Jets made a trade with the Rangers. Prior to trade deadline, Cheveldayoff acquired Kevin Hayes from the Rangers. Hayes was added at the deadline to help provide the Jets with some centre depth, but he’s now in Philadelphia. Just to note, Hayes isn’t technically a Philadelphia Flyer just yet. He’ll be a free agent like Trouba and the Flyers had acquired his signing rights.
Who The Jets Are Getting
Per the New York Rangers twitter handle, the Rangers dealt Neal Pionk and the 20th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Oddly enough, the Jets previously owned the pick, but coughed it up in the deadline trade for Hayes. With the trade, the Jets now have a first round pick and have five picks in total for the draft.
They also inked Pionk. Pionk has been a serviceable defenseman for the Rangers. He’s a solid 4th/5th defenseman. In the past, he’s shown to fans that he’s capable of putting up solid power-play numbers. But, he’s not spectacular in his own zone nor the neutral zone. His defensive corsi-for and his expected goals against aren’t great.
In the visual below from Sean Tierney, you’ll see just how awful Pionk was on the Rangers’ blueline. Pionk’s break-up percentage and possession exit percentage were both quite low. He’s not a puck mover and can’t be trusted in critical situations.
visual created by Sean Tierney, data from Corey Sznajder
On the flip side, Trouba is a stellar two-way defenseman. But, he’s much better in the offensive zone.
In the chart below (created by CJ Turtoro), you’ll see that Trouba was more efficient at shot contributions/60, shot assists/60 and shots/60 than Pionk. He’s also a lot better in the defensive zone as well. But, the only area where Pionk has him slightly beat is zone entries.
visual created by CJ Turtoro, data from Corey Sznajder
At the end of the day, this was a great trade for both sides. It’s been rumoured for a while that Trouba has no interest in playing in Winnipeg and it’s evident that Cheveldayoff gave up on his mission of making Trouba feel more at home. He was able to net his first round draft pick back and a solid depth defenseman.
For the New York Rangers, they’ve been adding young defensemen left and right. Earlier this year, they acquired Adam Fox from the Carolina Hurricanes and they are back at it again. With Trouba and Fox moving to Broadway, the Rangers defensive unit has quickly become a pretty good unit. Their opponents in the Metropolitan Division won’t have a lot of fun next season.
data from Corey Sznajder, hockey-reference.com
visuals from CJ Turtoro and Sean Tierney
featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals