The relationship between the Winnipeg Jets and Jacob Trouba appears ready to come to an end.
All summer Winnipeg’s restricted free agents have been the talk of the town, and on the top of that list, Trouba, and Mark Scheifele sit, awaiting new deals. Both have been Jets first round picks, and both have shown the potential to be franchise players. However, they find themselves in very different positions. Scheifele, the franchise’s first ever draft pick in Winnipeg, has gotten better every season. Coming up to his contract season, Scheifele has shown that he can be this teams top centerman, and he has earned a mega raise, one that the Jets and their fans can hardly wait to pay.
Trouba on the other hand has gone the other way. After being drafted ninth overall in 2012, Trouba made his Jets debut for the 2013-14 season. Trouba made an immediate impact, playing big minutes and even scoring in his first NHL game. The young American defenseman took the league by storm, and if not for a neck injury, may have been a Calder trophy contender. In his second season, Trouba took a slight step back. The potential to be a top NHL defenseman was still there however, and the future was bright. This past year Trouba played his third NHL season, and he did himself no favors. He struggled for much of the year to find consistency, and at least to Jets fans, his future with the team was in question.
Is Trouba Boston Bound?
Per a source, B's are preparing what would have to be a whopper of an offer sheet for Winnipeg D-man Jacob Trouba https://t.co/9I0IqKCEYM
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) June 29, 2016
After playing out his entry level contract, Trouba is set to become a restricted free agent on July 1st. Many had hopes that the former first round pick could become a franchise player, but with declining play every year since joining the Jets, that possibility seems further and further off. That wasn’t going to stop Trouba and his agent from looking for big money. Reports came out mid-season that Trouba was looking for a massive seven or eight year deal, worth as much as $56 million dollars.
Though this report was never confirmed by the team or player, where there is smoke there is often fire. The problem with that number was clear for the Jets. With already one of the highest paid defensive cores in the league, the Jets cannot afford another big salary on the blue line. If Trouba’s success was more certain it may be more of a discussion, however with his play last season, the Jets are likely not interested if it is going to cost that much.
All that leads us to today’s news of the Boston Bruins reportedly looking to offer Trouba a contract when free agency starts. The B’s are apparently willing to give him his seven or eight year contract, and though the rumored salary is just $50 million, that is still likely more than he could get in Winnipeg. For the Bruins this makes some sense. For years Zdeno Chara has roamed the blue line in Boston, but as he continues to get older, the Bruins are left without the franchise defenseman to build around, and they are hoping the current Jet can be that player.
The potential price is high for Boston, aside from the 50 some million, Boston would be forced to give up four first round draft picks to the Jets in compensation. It is a steep price, but if Trouba can be the franchise player they want it may work out. The Bruins have had five first round picks in the last two years and their prospect shelf may be filled to their liking. Though the price still seems high, the reward may be worth it.
Writing on the Wall
Whether the Bruins go ahead with this offer sheet or not, it appears that the Jets will not re-sign their former ninth overall pick for the up-coming season. The writing appears on the wall and the Jets will need a replacement. The front runner is Josh Morrissey, but look for the Jets to try to add another NHL ready defenseman before the season begins.
Born and raised Winnipeg sports fan and contributor with The Hockey Writers.