Jacob Trouba to the Rangers seemed like it was on the cards for a while. It was no secret that Trouba was miserable in Winnipeg. And really, who wouldn’t be? It’s cold as fuck, the coach is an idiot who kept playing Trouba on his off-side, and they’d dicked him around on a contract a couple times while he was restricted. As he was lining up to be unrestricted after this season, they had to cash in on him as he was never going to stay.
And the Rangers are the exact type of team that would need him. They’re on the upswing of a rebuild, but lacking a #1 d-man. Trouba has been labeled that all of his career, and he’s still young enough to be that for a while as the Rangers move from developing to contenders. And that could come as soon as next year.
The problem is that Trouba hasn’t really lived up to that. Bigger issue when you’re taking down $8M a year on the cap.
Trouba has been something of a possession-nightmare with the Rangers. He’s only got a 42% Corsi-rate and an even worse 41% expected goals share. These are way below his numbers in Winnipeg, and the Jets have never been possession-dominant. He’s below the team-rate in The Empire State, a first for him, though not terribly so as the Rangers still have some major issues defensively. Still, this was probably drawn up as Trouba being the beacon of consistency and hope. Not so much.
If the Rangers were hoping that they would also get something like the 50 points Trouba put up last year in Winnipeg, that’s on them. Trouba consistently put up 25 or so points there, and only saw the binge last year on the power play with all those forwards running wild. Trouba isn’t a power play QB, that’s supposed to be Skjei anyway, though he does have a pretty big shot. The Jets shot 18% with him on the ice on the power play, and got a lot of shots. The Rangers are short of that.
Of course, the debate could be had whether Trouba was ever the first pairing anchor he thought himself to be and was billed as in Winnipeg. His numbers are ok there, even good, but they’re not Norris-level. When in the spotlight he’d been all right, and at times in 2018 would flash that dominance, but last year like the rest of his teammates he didn’t look all that bothered. He and Skjei have yet to find the magic, though time is on their side.
Of course, that’s not the only thing that was supposed to go better for the Rangers. Kaapo Kakko hasn’t even out-performed Kirby Dach, even though he went into the draft with far more hype. Then again, so did Jack Hughes, and he hasn’t done much north of jack and shit either across the Hudson in Newark. Perhaps Adam Fox can lighten the pressure on Trouba, but he won’t lessen the contract. They seem to have fucked things up with Lias Andersson already, and Filip Chytil has yet to splash. The Rangers are performing over their heads this year anyway, but they’ll need Trouba and a host of others to pick it the fuck up before they’re contenders on Broadway again.