The Winnipeg Jets have made the first big move of their offseason, shedding some salary and acquiring a first-round pick. But also, giving up an important part of their team.
He’s pretty much all you can ask of a defenseman. No, he’s not a star. But he is rock solid in his own end, can move the puck and score a bit, he’s right handed and he’s just 25.
And the Jets just basically gave him away to the New York Rangers. The team did manage to acquire a first round pick, which was oddly enough the same one they traded to New York for Kevin Hayes.
So, we’ll assume Kevin Cheveldayoff can work his magic and draft someone useful with that first rounder, #20 overall. But I’m more concerned with the hole in the defense. I actually like Neal Pionk a little, but he’s not Jacob Trouba.
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He isn’t on the same level as far as defense, but he can be an offensive contributor. He’ll be in the rotation but the Jets can’t afford to keep downgrading on the back end. Yes, I know Trouba wanted out.
But he was still under RFA status, and the Jets could’ve held onto him a bit longer. I guess they really wanted a first rounder, but still. The package feels underwhelming. Another pick, even a 2nd or 3rd rounder, would’ve been nice. At the least.
Oh well, I’m not a talent scout. But I know Trouba > Pionk. Which isn’t ideal for the Jets. Maybe this really opens the door for Sami Niku, but he’s not really a shutdown guy either. Oh, also, Tyler Myers is an unrestricted FA.
Ben Chiarot and Bogdan Kiselevich join Myers as UFAs. That top four ain’t gonna get it done. The free agent class isn’t super deep, but it has guys like Michael Del Zotto, Alex Edler and Anton Stralman.
Kinda seems like, barring a trade, Winnipeg has gotta push for Myers. Look, I get it. Trouba was on his way out, but he was still really useful. The trade feels underwhelming, but I like Pionk and the Jets could really use a first rounder.
It’s not a terrible trade, but it makes the Jets worse in the short term, and that’s not ideal. More to come, I’d wager.