Players

2019-2020 NY Rangers Player Report Card: Jacob Trouba

The Rangers landed Jacob Trouba last Spring for pennies on the dollar. A late first round pick and Neal Pionk was all it took to land the top pairing RD, and they promptly signed him to a seven year, $8 million contract. Trouba was signed to be the 1RD and was 1/2 of the complete resurgence of the right side of the blue line. His performance this season may not have met those expectations, at least not yet.

Offense

Trouba’s first season fell short of expectations on the offensive side of the puck. Coming off a 50-point season with Winnipeg, Trouba put up a line or 7-20-27 in 70 games, which is more in line with his other seasons than his career season in 2018-2019. There are many factors at play here other than he had a down year, and it requires digging.

The big factor is Trouba’s powerplay production. Last season he put up 3-15-18 on the powerplay. This season he put up just 4-4-8. This isn’t necessarily on Trouba. As the season progressed, both Tony DeAngelo and Adam Fox showed they were better puck movers, thus earned more PP time. Trouba’s PP ice time went down from 2:04/game last season to 1:47/game this season. It may not seem like much, but that’s a full shift of PP time when that is already limited to begin with. He also shifted from PP1 to PP2, which meant being taken off the PP unit with both Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin.

Defense

Regardless of reasons, Trouba still under performed offensively. There’s more to the position. The Rangers brought Trouba in to be a rock on defense as well, which may or may not miscast him depending on how you viewed him in Winnipeg.

The Rangers performed better offensively without Trouba on the ice, something covered above. However Trouba did have a more positive effect defensively, albeit slightly. The area to focus on is the lower right section by the net. With Trouba on the ice, the dark red circle is moved out to the faceoff dot. When he’s off the ice, it moves closer. This suggests that while Trouba didn’t have a major impact, he controlled his area of the ice better comparatively to the rest of the team.

Special Teams

Trouba was moved off the top powerplay unit, but was did get some time and was also used as a top penalty killer. Given Trouba wasn’t on PP1, his powerplay impact is going to be skewed. Most of the difference is in the Zibanejad side of the ice.

On the penalty kill, well this is a mess. The Rangers are clearly performing better without Trouba on the ice, but it makes you wonder how much of that is due to the opposition faced. Trouba usually gets top PK minutes, thus top PP opposition. The season long numbers are not pretty, then again the season long numbers for the Rangers in general are not pretty.

Impact and Trends

Trends matter. The Rangers were far better from December-February than they were in October and November. It’s something we’ve been stating for a while.

Trouba, like most, started out very slowly. The big uptick is in November/December when the Rangers started playing well. Eventually Trouba evened out a little below league average. Not the best season for Trouba.

In the end, Jacob Trouba’s performace underwhelmed, but he will likely be fine. The bright side is that he will likely improve. The team is going to get better. Trouba will have a full season under his belt. There’s a chance that Lindy Ruff’s departure has a positive impact.

Grade: C

Charts provided by Hockeyviz and chartinghockey.

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  • I would give him a solid B — he didn’t match expectations but his season was still solid overall. He didn’t outperform Fox or DeAngelo offensively, but that doesn’t affect the grade. Each player has to be judged on his own merits and Trouba ate up the toughest minutes of the game.

    Coming to a new team is always a hit/miss prospect. New system, new defense partner, new distractions, etc. As he grows more comfortable he’ll find his place on the team —- caveat is we have to find him a stable defensive partner that can handle a defensive role on the 1st pairing. He may never fully earn his $8M per, but his play will be close enough that our complaints should be relatively minor —- compared to the bitching that goes on with Staal or Smith (and Girardi before them).

    • Agreed Tanto. B for the guy who played the toughest minutes and gave out and took the big hits. I expect him to be the rock for years.

    • Sorry Tanto but Trouba failed every check mark that there is. When you have to give excuses for someone than you know it’s already not looking good. He might have the most lazy stick that I have ever seen, guy’s can burn from the outside and inside anywhere in the DZ.

  • Way better than a C man. He did things on a nightly basis on the ice that you don’t even notice. He is exactly what they needed and is well worth the money.

    • He didn’t do any of the little stuff or big stuff to help out the team. He was bad in all three zones and his aggressive pinching in the neutral zone hurts this team more than you know. He is a warm body to slot on the top pair and that is about the only use for him.

      Oh yeah he stinks on the pk. He also doesn’t make the PP2 any better…

  • I completely disregard anything about his lack of scoring for the simple reason that he didn’t need to score for the Rangers. Tony D and Foxie took care of that. He concentrated on playing major minutes against the other teams’ top lines and providing a major upgrade in physicality to the team. For that, I give him a solid B.

      • We paid him $8M to be a the physical presence against other teams’ best players, and he definitely was that. ADA and Fox didn’t core “for” him. They turned out to be better than anyone expected and moved up the depth chart on their own merits.

      • It’s very different when you play against the other team’s top players as opposed to say their 2nd or 3rd lines — there’s eating up minutes and then there’s EATING UP minutes.

  • I’m a Trouba guy, waited 3 years for him, and I give him a C too.

    They better get him a partner that he can play with, or else we will have another albatross contract on our hands.

  • Trouba is the only d-man who played with physicality each, and every night, and ate up a slew of minutes per game. As Joe stated, Jake didn’t have to put pressure on himself to score, with ADA, and Fox lighting up the board. A solid B in my book!!!!!!!!!!!

  • This guy came to NY with the reputation and hype of being one of the best overall young defensemen in the league. He was decent his first year with the Rangers, but definitely a disappointment. He should have been, but was not their best defensemen, even though he was pretty consistent on defense. He seemed to have little effect on the power-play all year. What happened to his good accurate slapshot? He seemed to miss the net a lot. Maybe to much pressure in NY, and living up to the big contract his first year? Hopefully, these coming playoffs, we will start to see the Jason Trouba that played so well in Winnipeg.

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