New York Rangers get major rebuild piece in Jacob Trouba via stunning trade with Winnipeg Jets

There have been trade rumors swirling around Jacob Trouba in Winnipeg for years. On Monday, they finally culminated in an actual trade.

The New York Rangers made a big splash when they acquired Trouba from the Jets in exchange for defenseman Neal Pionk and a first-round pick (20th overall) in this year's NHL Draft. 

It's a surprisingly cheap price to pay for the 25-year-old Trouba, even with his status as a restricted free agent in need of a new contract. Trouba is a top-pairing defender who logged nearly 23 minutes a night for the Jets this past season, picking up eight goals and 42 assists while playing in all 82 regular-season games for Winnipeg.

Trouba, who was the ninth overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, had some incredibly even possession splits this season. In 1,434:13 of five-on-five action, Trouba was on the ice for 1,409 attempts for versus 1,408 attempts against, as well as a perfectly balanced 68 goals for, 68 goals against.

Top-pairing defensemen -- especially ones in their mid-20s -- typically fetch a stronger haul than what Trouba landed the Jets. However, Winnipeg was somewhat eager to move him in order to pursue the re-signing of Tyler Myers, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. 

As a result, the Rangers get a strong young pillar for their current rebuilding effort. Trouba is the second significant addition to New York's blue line already this offseason, as the Rangers acquired defensive prospect Adam Fox from the Carolina Hurricanes back in April. 

That first-round pick going to the Jets in the Trouba deal is actually Jets' own selection, as it's the same one they traded to the Rangers in exchange for Kevin Hayes at this year's trade deadline. With the two trades finalized and the pick canceled out, the exchange is essentially Trouba and Brendan Lemieux for Neal Pionk and two months of Hayes.

That is a swap that decidedly lands in favor of the Rangers. 

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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