The 2018-19 season was, by just about any measure, the best year yet in the career of Jacob Trouba. So as he embarks on a momentous summer in which he'll change teams for the first time in that career, just how is Trouba measuring himself?
"I was happy with how I played," Trouba said of his 2018-19 campaign, adding: "I think there's more there."
Trouba will begin his quest for those higher climes of hockey as a New York Ranger, and he'll begin it right away: The big American blueliner became the newest member of the Blueshirts on Monday night when he was acquired in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets. The Rangers sent Neal Pionk the other way, along with a first-round draft pick that they were simply returning to Winnipeg after acquiring it in a separate deal back in February.
Trouba is a 6-foot-3, 202-pound righty-shot defenseman who can play in all situations and who established all kinds of career highs in 2018-19. He was one of 13 NHL blueliners to hit the 50-point mark, and ranked sixth among all skaters with 171 blocked shots. Often matching up against opponents' top lines, he ranked second on the Jets in time on ice (22:53) and shorthanded time on ice (2:28), sixth in power-play TOI (2:04), and was the only Jet to get into all 82 games.
"It was a little bit different in that there were some injuries that opened up a little more opportunity," the newest Blueshirt said on Tuesday. "I think I have more that I can achieve, more that I want to achieve, another level of my game that I think I can get to. Overall, yeah, it was a good season; I think with a little bit more opportunity I showed what I'm capable of. But I still don't think I've shown everything yet."