As the trade smoke around Jacob Trouba intensifies, it’s almost impossible to ignore all of the possible Trouba trade destinations. We’ve gone from the hilarious (Pittsburgh) to the somewhat realistic (Nashville) all the way to the likely on his no-trade list (Utah). Still, there’s too much smoke to ignore that a Trouba trade is likely going to happen in the next week, with the Rangers hoping to have it done at the draft.

Finding Trouba trade destinations is a bit challenging, since he does have the 15-team no-trade list and, if he wants to be spiteful, can game it to make him close to untradeable. He also doesn’t have to waive his full no-move, still in effect until July 1. For the sake of discussing realistic Trouba trade destinations, let’s assume he plays ball.

Realistic Trouba trade destination – Nashville

The Nashville Predators are in a bit of an odd spot. They were far better than expected last season, but are clearly a step behind teams in their division like Dallas and Colorado. They have just 4 defensemen signed and, even with the Juuse Saros contract, have $26 million in cap space with 15 players signed. There’s plenty of room to make this work with the roster and cap fit.

Nashville also has tons of draft capital, which is likely what Rangers GM Chris Drury is targeting. In the next three drafts, including tonight’s, the Predators have 4 1st round picks (unlikely), 5 2nd round picks, 5 3rd round picks, and 4 4th round picks. There’s a deal to be made, even with no salary retention.

In Nashville’s eyes, Trouba likely gives them that extra leadership and tenacity bump they need. Head coach Andrew Brunette is probably familiar with his style too, from his days with the Panthers and Devils. As far as Trouba trade destinations go, this is a pretty solid one.

For Trouba, Nashville is a competing team that will likely be in the playoff hunt again.

For the Rangers, they send him out west and only see him twice in the regular season.

Realistic wild card – Detroit

The Detroit Red Wings make no sense. They traded Jake Walman for peanuts, attaching a 2nd round pick to dump his salary. They then re-acquired their own 2nd round pick in a prospect swap with Nashville. Maybe they are making a run at an offer sheet, but dumping Walman’s contract had minimal impact since Detroit has $32 million in cap space.

With Detroit’s motives unclear, we can at least see a roster fit. Detroit has 5 defensemen, including Moritz Seider (RFA). Trouba’s contract can be absorbed easily and there’s a clear spot for him on their blue line in a pretty weak division. Detroit and Buffalo should be in the hunt as teams like Boston and Tampa fade.

Detroit has some draft capital, but not much. Instead, a match with Detroit likely means a roster player or prospect coming over in a trade. Joe Veleno is an RFA and would probably be a decent 4C for the Rangers. But I’m admittedly out of my element with other team’s prospects.

There’s probably a deal to be made here, and of all the possible Trouba trade destinations, Detroit is the only one that has Andrew Copp. In fact, between Nashville and Detroit, Detroit is more likely not to be on Trouba’s no-trade list.

Detroit is a wild card because no one knows what Steve Yzerman is doing.

Possible but unlikely trade destination – Utah

The Utah Hockey Club has a blank check and a new lease on life. They have been open about willing to spend and have exactly zero defensemen signed, though three are RFAs – Sean Durzi, JJ Moser, and Juuso Valimaki. None are noted physical presences like Trouba. There’s a very easy fit here.

All things considered, it’s unlikely Utah–or any team, for that matter–would offer a 1st round pick. But they have 10 2nd round picks in the next 3 years, including picks from the Rangers in 2025 and 2026. They also have 7 3rd round picks in that span, again including a pick from the Rangers in 2025.

The problem with Utah will be competitiveness. Given the division, it’s unlikely they truly compete for another 2-3 seasons, which impacts Trouba’s desire to win and stay competitive. But he would be one of the top dogs, which could inflate his numbers and perhaps lead to another lucrative contract in two years.

Highly unlikely, but funny – Toronto

The Toronto Maple Leafs have basically been a 4-man team for a while. They have issues basically everywhere in the lineup and have some pretty significant contracts that are unlikely to be moved. This is their window to win, and they have $18.8 million in cap space to make it work. Toronto is lacking goaltending, but GM Brad Treliving could also look to Trouba to provide what they thought Ryan Reaves could provide.

Trouba is unlikely to accept a trade to Toronto, as he wanted out of Canada to help support his wife’s career goals. Still, Toronto isn’t a long flight and it would be temporary. It’s possible.

The problem would be trade match: Toronto has zero draft capital and would need to deal from either roster players or prospects. There’s always a deal to be made, but this one is a stretch.

Objectively hilarious – Pittsburgh

Jacob Trouba isn’t going to Pittsburgh. But given all the complaining that fan base and those beat writers have done about Trouba, this would be really funny. They’d implode.

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