New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has acquired defenseman Jacob Trouba from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for Neal Pionk and the 20th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
Trouba, 25, skated in 82 games with Winnipeg this past season, registering eight goals and 42 assists for 50 points, along with a plus-eight rating and 58 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in several categories in 2018-19, including games played, assists, and points. Trouba was tied for ninth among NHL defensemen in assists during the past season (tied with Erik Karlsson and Victor Hedman), and he also ranked 13th among NHL defensemen in points during the season. Of the 13 NHL defensemen who recorded 50 or more points in 2018-19, Trouba received the least amount of power play ice time during the season (168:52; next lowest was Thomas Chabot - 205:41). In addition, Trouba's 42 assists were the second-most by an NHL defenseman 25 years old or younger this past season (trailing only Morgan Rielly), and his 50 points were the third-most by an NHL defenseman 25 years old or younger (trailing only Rielly and Chabot). He also ranked sixth in the NHL in blocked shots in 2018-19 (171).
The 6-3, 202-pounder led the Jets in total ice time (1,876:00), total shorthanded ice time (201:57), and blocked shots, ranked second in average ice time (22:53) and average shorthanded ice time (2:28), tied for second in power play assists (15), ranked third in assists and even strength assists (25), and tied for fourth in points (50; tied with Patrik Laine) in 2018-19. Trouba tallied 35 points (five goals, 30 assists) over the final 44 games of the regular season. He helped Winnipeg advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs during the past season, and he recorded one assist in six playoff contests.
Trouba has skated in 408 career NHL games over six seasons (2013-14 - 2018-19), all with Winnipeg, registering 42 goals and 137 assists for 179 points, along with a plus-37 rating and 297 penalty minutes. He has averaged at least 22:00 of ice time in five of his six NHL seasons, and he averaged a career-high, 24:58 of ice time per game in 2016-17. Trouba finished sixth in voting for the Calder Trophy as the NHL's Rookie of the Year in 2013-14, as he recorded 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) in 65 games. He has posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in every season of his NHL career.
Internationally, the Rochester, Michigan native has represented the United States in several tournaments. Trouba has represented the United States at the IIHF World Championship three times (2013, 2014, 2017), the IIHF World Junior Championship twice (2012 and 2013), and the IIHF U18 World Championship twice (2011 and 2012), and he was also a member of Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. He helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship; he was named the Best Defenseman in the tournament, as he led all defensemen in goals (four) and points (nine). Trouba also helped the United States win a gold medal in back-to-back years at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2011 and 2012), and he also helped the United States earn a bronze medal at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
Trouba was selected by Winnipeg in the first round, ninth overall, of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Pionk skated in 101 games with the Rangers over parts of two seasons (2017-18 and 2018-19), registering seven goals and 33 assists for 40 points, along with 47 penalty minutes. He was signed by the Rangers as an undrafted free agent on May 1, 2017.