Editorials

New York Islanders View on Jacob Trouba Trade to New York Rangers

By Matt Hawkins
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 24: Jacob Trouba #8 of the Winnipeg Jets skates with the puck during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on February 24, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Jets 4-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 24: Jacob Trouba #8 of the Winnipeg Jets skates with the puck during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on February 24, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Jets 4-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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The New York Islanders have made a couple of moves so far this offseason, including re-signing center Brock Nelson and winger Jordan Eberle. However, the Islanders have yet to make a trade.

There have been several rumors so far this offseason regarding the New York Islanders when it comes to trades. It has been rumored that the Islanders are shopping around defensemen Nick Leddy and Thomas Hickey.

Although many fans (like myself) would love the Isles to ship Nick Leddy and then some for a top-six forward, it is very unlikely that Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello will rush a trade or accept anything less than he thinks he should get in return for Leddy.

On the contrary, some other GMs are not like this and like to get trades done quick, whether it means getting a good return for the player(s) or not.

This can be seen with the most recent trade that occurred in the NHL between the Winnipeg Jets and the New York Islanders biggest rival – the New York Rangers.

The Trade

The Rangers acquired breakout defenseman Jacob Trouba from the Jets for defenseman Neal Pionk and the 20th-overall pick in this year’s draft (this pick was originally Winnipeg’s but was traded to the Rangers as a part of the trade for forward Kevin Hayes).

Scoring 50 points (eight goals and 42 assists) and playing in all 82 games this season, Trouba had a breakout season at 25 years old. So, being able to get him for a late first-round pick and a decent young defenseman in Neal Pionk is a steal for the Rangers in my eyes.

Trouba is also a restricted free agent (RFA), so if the Rangers and Trouba are unable to reach a long-term deal this offseason, both sides still have until July 1st, 2020 to work out a deal before Trouba hits the open market.

What the Isles would have needed to trade for Trouba

Considering what the Rangers gave up for Trouba, the Isles would probably have to give up something similar.

So, this most likely would include the Isles first-round pick for this year’s draft (23rd overall) and a young, developing player with some NHL experience.

These players could include the likes of defensemen Sebastion Aho, Scott Mayfield, Adam Pelech, or forward Anthony Beauvillier.

If Winnipeg wanted a highly-touted prospect from the Isles, like 2018 12th-overall pick – defenseman Noah Dobson, there would be no chance the Jets would get the Isles first-round pick and probably a very low chance that the trade talks would continue much longer.

However, it seemed as if this trade was more of Winnipeg getting something in return for a player that they most likely wouldn’t be able to re-sign when he becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA), so I doubt they would ask for Dobson.

Should the Isles have been in on Trouba?

After reviewing the trade and at how cheap the Rangers were able to acquire Trouba, could the New York Islanders have been in on Jacob Trouba?

My answer to this question is a very strong “NO.” I think this for several reasons.

First, the Isles are already trying to shop around two defensemen in Leddy and Hickey. It would make absolutely zero sense to bring in another defenseman.

If the Isles were to trade with Winnipeg, I would want them to try and get one of the Jets young forwards. More specifically, Nikolaj Ehlers or Kyle Connor.

Second, the Islanders need help at forward, not defense. This Isles should be trading for a top-six forward and not a top-four defenseman.

The team is already clogged up at the blue line with Ryan Pulock, Johnny Boychuk, Devon Toews, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech; adding Trouba would mean Leddy or Hickey (if one of them wasn’t used in the deal) would definitely have to be traded and would lessen the likelihood or completely end the chance of Dobson making the team next season.

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All in all, I strongly think that trading for Trouba or any defenseman, unless it’s a top-five defenseman in the league, would be against the best interest of the Islanders.

Lou should focus on adding to the offense of the team, especially the top-six forwards.

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