There was not a hockey fan in the world who did not know Jacob Trouba was going to get traded this summer. It was just a matter of where.
The Winnipeg Jets had to move their top pairing, right handed defenseman because a) they are so tight up against the salary cap and b) Trouba would walk at the end of next season for nothing. Trouba has openly wanted to leave and play for American based teams, and everyone knew he would leave next summer leaving the Jets with nothing but an empty bag.
So the Jets did the best they could, trading Trouba to the New York Rangers in exchange for the 20th overall pick in the 2019 draft and promising defenseman Neal Pionk.
The Rangers, of course, are fast-tracking their impressive rebuild by landing one of the top defensemen in hockey. They still have to re-sign him but the expectation is they will be able to get that done at some point this season if not sooner.
The Jets, famous for their stockpiling of prospects, get two in this deal. We will have to wait and see who they select with the 20th overall pick. In Neal Pionk they get a strong puck moving blue liner who led the Rangers power play in his first NHL season last year.
But the Jets also free themselves up some $5 million in salary cap room. So essentially this trade is not completed until we see what the Jets are able to do with that. Could they sign their own UFA in Tyler Myers with that money? Or do they sign another top player?