Mailbag: Player age, Trading Strome, Trading Trouba

Three questions for the mailbag since the bye week. As per usual, use the widget on the right to submit your questions to be answered.

Gerard asks: Can’t help but think about how underwhelming Jacob Trouba has been. Does it make sense to trade him?

This is a tough one. Trouba has six years at $8 million left and will have a NMC kick in next summer. He’s “underwhelmed” in the sense that he’s not putting up points like Tony DeAngelo, but that doesn’t mean he’s been bad. I’m not one to write off a player of Trouba’s caliber after one season, however DeAngelo’s season and Adam Fox’s emergence makes you wonder if trading him and keeping DeAngelo is the better path. There is no wrong answer here, but I think the Rangers are leaning towards trading DeAngelo and moving forward with a 1-2 of Trouba/Fox. Of course if they move DeAngelo to the left side, they can keep all three.

Keith asks: Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin are the same age. Guess Panarin is old too.

Yes this is true. Kreider will be 29 in April and Panarin 29 in October. But this is an apples and oranges thing. Panarin is an elite winger, one of the best in the league. Kreider is a 50 point guy whose game is based on speed, strength, and a net front presence. The speed is the concern here, since that may not age well. However the rest of his game should age. I’m not a believer that Kreider will have a poor aging curve, but there is always risk in long-term deals after 30 years old. The question is whether or not the Rangers believe he can continue producing at his current level in years 3-5 of that deal, with the understanding that anything beyond would be an incredible risk. Same with Panarin.

Bill asks (I fixed the wording here): Ryan Strome is not your 2C, Filip Chytil is your 2C of the future. Why shell out that much money for him?

This is where I stand with Strome. He has chemistry with Panarin that can’t be ignored, but you also can’t ignore Chytil and his importance to the future. You also can’t ignore the salary cap, and spending $5 million or more on a guy who may or may not be a bottom-six center in year two of a deal is a big risk. He has certainly been worth the trade of Ryan Spooner, and he should bring back something of value at the draft. However I can also certainly understand the reluctance to trade a 60-70 point player. Luckily the Rangers don’t need to make a long-term decision this year. He is an RFA and they can kick the can down the road a year to make a more informed decision.