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Rangers Start off Summer with Trade for Big Jacob Trouba

The New York Rangers GM has delivered one of the NHL’s best big, skilled defensemen in exchange for the Rangers #20 pick in Friday’s NHL Draft.

In a block-buster trade on Monday night, the Rangers sent Neal Pionk and their #20 first-round pick to the Winnipeg Jets for the big defenseman, Jacob Trouba who is in his prime.

The Rangers have gone years without a complete defenseman, but now they have one. 

The Rangers needed a big defenseman to compete next season and they got him. Young defensemen who can create offense and can shut-down the other team’s best forwards are hard to find. The Michigan native might be the most complete defenseman they have had since former-captain Ryan McDonagh.

Trouba is a 25-year-old who stands 6’3” and weighs 202 lbs. He had an outstanding season last year playing for the Winnipeg Jets. He scored 50 points which was 13th among NHL defensemen. His 42 assists were tied for fourth on the team with Patrik Laine and his average ice time of 22:53 was second on the Jets. He also scored 8 goals and is a good point man on the power play.

I liked having two first-round-picks, but the Rangers now have one of the NHL’s most complete defenseman in their line-up to help bolster their blue-line. I think David Quinn and the Rangers coaching staff will benefit from having a guy who has played in a strong division against teams like the cup champion St. Louis Blues for six years.

Trouba can have a good impact on the Rangers young players going into next season. Think about how skating against Trouba in practice can prepare young players like Filip Chytil and Lias Andersson to play against tough, physical defenseman like Brooks Orpik on the Washington Capitals. Last season the Rangers missed having a defenseman, like Dan Girardi or Ryan McDonagh who were good at defending the front of his own net. Hopefully, a player like Trouba, who likes to play physically, can help the Rangers keep opposing players from getting too comfortable in front of their net.

Trouba has known Brady Skjei since the two were teammates at the U.S. National development Team Program. It would make sense for the right-handed Trouba to be paired with the left-handed Brady Skjei. That would be a very good first defensive pairing. Shattenkirk and veteran Marc Staal will most likely fit in best on the second line while the newly acquired Adam Fox, Tony DeAngelo, Ryan Lindgren, Libor Hajek and Fredrik Claesson will all battle it out for the last spots on the depth chart.

The only negative is that the Rangers acquired Trouba in the last year of his contract.  With the positive direction this young Ranger’s team is trending, Trouba could want to stay with the young and coming Rangers.  Look for the Rangers to sign him to a long-term deal soon.

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Anthony has been a sportswriter at In The Zone since Sept. 2019. He graduated from Montclair State, where he was assistant Editor of the student newspaper's sports section. He also co-hosts a sports-themed radio show on the campus station, WMSC 90.3 FM, which was recently named #1 college radio station in the nation.
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