Jacob Trouba’s situation with the Winnipeg Jets is settled once and for all.
The Jets traded the defenceman to the New York Rangers on Monday for defenceman Neal Pionk, and the Rangers’ first round draft pick (20th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft.
“It’s certainly something that doesn’t just happen,” general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said. “I think, there’s been, kind of lots of groundwork on many different fronts.”
Trouba, 25, played six seasons for the Jets after they selected him in with the ninth overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. In 408 career games with the Jets, Trouba scored 42 goals with 137 assists.
“This was what we wanted to do,” Cheveldayoff said. ” He’s our second – first round pick, so you know, there’s there’s always that fondness of someone that you draft in the organization, and he’s just played hard for our organization for a period of six years, and we wish him all the best.”
Pionk, 23, was signed by the Rangers as an undrafted college free agent. After winning the NCAA championship with the University of Minnesota-Duluth, he played in parts of two seasons with the Rangers. The Omaha, Nebraska product recorded seven goals with 33 assists in 101 NHL games with the Rangers. He also played for their minor league affiliate, the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. In 48 AHL games during the 2017-2018 season, he scored once and added 16 assists.
“He’s a real competitive player,” Cheveldayoff said. “When you do the research on him, and you talk to different people about him, he’s a competitor. He’s a guy that has won a championship, and been part of a winning organization and a winning pedigree.”
“Where his total usage will be, obviously, that’ll shake out even more so as we get closer to training camp.”
Pionk was also named the USHL Defenceman of the Year with the Sioux City Musketeers in the 2014-15 season.
In making the move, the Jets re-acquired the draft pick they originally sent to the Rangers in the Kevin Hayes/Brendan Lemieux deal at the trade deadline.