Should the Maple Leafs trade for Jacob Trouba?

Winnipeg Jets fans have spoken. Out of 4,598 respondents to a poll conducted by the Winnipeg Sun, 75% of fans want defenseman Jacob Trouba traded.

Will GM Kevin Cheveldayoff pull the trigger on a Trouba trade? All signs point to the affirmative.

On July 22, 2018, the Jets signed the 25-year old defenseman to a one year, $5.5 million contract. The deal was delivered amidst swirling rumours pertaining to Trouba’s inevitable departure. With his contract expired, Trouba has once again found himself at the centre of the NHL rumour mill.

The Toronto Maple Leafs should be one of his suitors. Here’s why.

If the past few years serve as any indication, the Maple Leafs are clearly in need of a right-hand defenseman. While Toronto’s needs on the blue line are obvious, obtaining a solution to this problem is easier said than done.

Jacob Trouba could be the solution – but at what cost?

Short answer: A lot.

Potential Suitors: Detroit, Philadelphia, New York Rangers, Florida, Edmonton and Toronto.

Potential Ask: Young centre and a third round draft pick.

William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen and Nazem Kadri come to mind (definitely NOT as a package, but as pieces).

William Nylander – his contract looks unappealing at the moment, but it’s tradeable if Cheveldayoff thinks he can return to his old ways. A fresh start in a new city could be what he needs.

Kasperi Kapanen – as much as it pains me to admit it, is likely on the trading block thanks to the strains of our cap situation. He has potential that no team can ignore.

Nazem Kadri – he may be undervalued by the Leafs due to his suspension habits, but his contract is extremely cap friendly for the Jets, who are also in a crunch.

Trouba is a young, two-way defenseman that would fit nicely onto the Toronto Maple Leafs top pairing with Morgan Rielly. The sooner Toronto has the resources to be able to demote Ron Hainsey from the first pairing, the better.

Jacob Trouba also had a career year this past season, scoring 50 points in 82 games. His advanced stats are solid: Trouba has a career Corsi For % of 50.6, and a Fenwick For % of 51.1. If Jake Gardiner leaves, his offensive production on the back end would be replaced if Trouba is acquired.

Picking up a top four, two way defenseman will only happen if Toronto gives up a young forward. The Maple Leafs could use the trade to off-load one or two UFA’s they can’t afford to re-sign. However, Jacob Trouba will be looking to sign a long-term contract with whatever team he lands with, and it won’t be for cheap. This is something the Toronto Maple Leafs will need to consider.

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