The Rangers defense pairs need a shakeup.

Jacob Trouba did not have his best season last year for the Rangers. Named captain to start the season, Trouba was already behind the proverbial 8-ball early in the season with an apparent wrist injury he played through. It was clear something was not right, as his play was pretty rough compared to just a season prior. Still, he played through it and it eventually healed. Trouba finished the season with a line of 8-22-30 while playing top-four minutes with K’Andre Miller.

Trouba was already drawing ire because many thought the C should have gone to Mika Zibanejad or Chris Kreider. The locker room voted for Trouba, so our feelings there shouldn’t matter. Yet those feelings lingered, and the subpar play for most of the season exacerbated those who don’t like Trouba at all.

Trouba wound finishing 11th in scoring, third among defensemen, on the Rangers. He also led the Rangers in hits (218) and blocked shots (196). Those stats indicate he was playing without the puck a lot, which he was, but those stats should also be favorable for those who shout that defensemen play defense. He did that, and he chipped in offensively too.

But as mentioned, his play was not up to snuff last season. He far outproduced his offensive metrics, which suggests his scoring could go down next season. Naturally, they could go back up once he’s fully healthy and the Rangers have more structure to defensive zone exits under Peter Laviolette. His scoring may go down a bit, which I guess might be expected under Laviolette, but his overall game should improve.

Still, Trouba’s season last year was a bit rough. We aren’t necessarily expecting Adam Fox type production, but we are expecting more stable defensive play. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and am hoping for a bounceback season.

Grade: C

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