Rangers’ captain defenseman could be ‘odd man out’ amidst trade speculation

Apr 23, 2024; New York, New York, USA;  New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) skates with the puck against the Washington Capitals during the first period in game two of the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are seemingly preparing to make significant changes to their roster this summer. With the draft and free agency upcoming, the rumor mill is spinning, and early reports indicate that team president and general manager Chris Drury could be planning to overhaul the roster.

Team captain Jacob Trouba has found himself attached to many of those rumors this offseason. The veteran defenseman could be on his way out of the Big Apple after a disappointing 2023 campaign.

The Rangers are reportedly exploring trading Jacob Trouba

New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) looks on against the Philadelphia Flyers in the third period at Wells Fargo Center
Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

According to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, the Rangers “are exploring all of their options this summer,” including a potential trade to move off Trouba’s contract. Trouba has two years left on his contract with an AAV of $8 million. The Blueshirts seem ready to get his contract off the books sooner rather than later. And luckily for them, Trouba’s full no-movement clause turns into a 15-team no-trade list starting on Monday.

“Trouba has positive trade equity, despite the cap hit, because the term is so short with two years remaining,” Seravalli reported. “Teams crave his intensity, leadership, and physicality.”

NHL Insider Chris Johnston of The Athletic corroborated Seravalli’s report during a recent podcast episode (h/t Phil Kocher). Per Johnston, Trouba “could be the odd man out there” as he’s heard the Rangers are “trying to move a defenseman.”

Johnston noted that Trouba is too expensive to be a third-pairing defenseman and that New York could look to move off their captain once his no-movement clause turns into a 15-team no-trade list. Trouba finished this regular season with a -4 rating and was a source of controversy during the postseason as he played through an ankle injury, and resultingly played poorly.

The Rangers have expressed interest in some of the top free-agent defensemen anticipated to be on the market this offseason. Trading away Trouba and his contract could allow Drury to target a potential upgrade on the free agency market.

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