TRANSACTION: The Winnipeg Jets have acquired D - Neal Pionk and a first-round selection, 20th overall, in the 2019 NHL Draft from the New York Rangers in exchange for D - Jacob Trouba.— Winnipeg Jets PR (@WpgJetsPR) June 17, 2019
Pionk is a 23 year old defenceman just coming off of his first full season in the NHL and second professional season overall. He recorded 26 points in 73 games this year including six goals.
As you can see, even though the Rangers were a bad team Pionk did nothing to make them a better team. On the other hand, for all his face palm moments, Trouba did drive play to make the Jets better when he was on the ice. You can fault him for his decision making in his own end, but he was a first pairing defender in every sense of the word.
TRADE— dom luszczyszyn (@domluszczyszyn) June 17, 2019
Rangers: Jacob Trouba
Jets: Neal Pionk and a 1st
Trouba is a top-pairing defenseman. Pionk is... not that, despite his usage. pic.twitter.com/nKB25ckpcB
Click on the above tweet to view it better.
Trouba can drive play offensively close to the best in the league while struggling to drive play defensively. On the other hand, Pionk appears to struggle to drive play at either end of the ice and this could end up being a liability for the Jets in the short and long term.
This is a bad trade for the Jets, even though it was inevitable. Everyone and their best friend knew that the Jets were looking to trade Trouba and that put the Jets at a disadvantage. It also proved that I really need to stop procrastinating and start writing earlier because there was an argument to be made for the Jets to allow Trouba to be offer-sheeted and then not match it. After losing Trouba for picks, the Jets could have flipped those for a player of their choosing. Instead, we get this and this is bad.
This signals that Tyler Myers will also most likely remain a Jet. The Myers experience has gone poorly here as he has shown himself to be little more than an overpaid third pairing defenceman. If this is the path the Jets have decided to take, this is the path of a team that believes that the 2017-2018 season was an aberration and that this past season was who the team is. It is defeatest and does not put the Jets in the best position to maximize the potential of their young players. Instead, this looks like a team that is unwilling or unable to solve it’s problem on defence and instead only add to it.
Jacob Trouba was traded to the New York Rangers for Neal Pionk and a first round pick. With him, the Jets potential for a Stanley Cup in the near future unless this is the first of a few moves.