Winnipeg Jets Sign Defenceman Jacob Trouba

USATSI_9214320_154158418_lowresThe Winnipeg Jets have signed defenceman Jacob Trouba to a two-year contract worth a reported $6 million, the team announced Monday.

The deal ends a contract stalemate between team and player that really came to a head when the 22-year-old asked for a trade out of Winnipeg. Trouba missed the first 13 games of the season and had until December 1 to sign a deal due to his restricted free agent status.

The trade request came because of the defenceman wanting a more elevated role with the Jets and that’s an issue that will still require some sort of resolution. There was significant chatter about his desire to play on the right-hand side and his wish to play to his full potential in another location.

That said, Trouba’s reasonable contract should free Winnipeg up for a potential trade.

For now, it’s a matter of getting him back in the game.

“Jacob Trouba’s a Winnipeg Jet,” general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said. “We’re here to announce his signing and the excitement that’s there, and he gets the opportunity to rejoin his team and get on the ice.”

Of course, that excitement may be tempered a little by the trade request. Trouba may have a mountain to climb when it comes to regaining the respect of his teammates and the Winnipeg fanbase. He’ll have to prove his loyalty to the franchise and the city.

Trouba had every right to withhold his services until a valid contract was proffered, so there’s no actual violation to consider. He didn’t do anything wrong under the terms of the CBA, either.

The question now becomes what Trouba will do next. There’s no reason to assume that the contract changes his desire to play in Winnipeg and there’s no reason to assume that the Jets won’t be working on trading him.

For the player, a chance to get playing is a chance to get some visibility for a potential trade destination. If teams are looking at him, Trouba will want to prove that he can produce at a value that’s worth taking the plunge.

In 211 career games, the 22-year-old defenceman has 23 goals and 49 assists. His best season was his rookie season, when he posted 29 points in 65 regular season games.

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