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With draft looming, Rangers land big fish in blockbuster trade

18 June 2019

The teams announced the trade Monday.

Trouba is just the beginning of what is expected to be a busy offseason for NY.

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) takes a slap shot during a game between the Winnipeg Jets and the Chicago Blackhawks on April 1, 2019, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. Pionk is also a restricted free agent but will cost less than the more-established Trouba.

The Rangers aggressively pursued Trouba over the past few weeks, though their in-division rivals the New York Rangers also expressed interest.

The right-handed defenseman is only 25-year-old and will likely be looking for a huge contract from the Blueshirts over the summer.

He excelled in 2018-19 for the Jets, setting career-highs in assists (42), points (50), power play goals (3), power play points (18), shots (162) and takeaways (48).

Heading back to Winnipeg in the deal is defenceman Neal Pionk and the 20th-overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

The draft pick originally belonged to the Jets, who sent it to the Rangers in exchange for Kevin Hayes last season. Trouba is a top-pairing defender who logged almost 23 minutes a night for the Jets this past season, picking up eight goals and 42 assists while playing in all 82 regular-season games for Winnipeg.

For teams that want to address their defense, options are running out quickly.

With draft looming, Rangers land big fish in blockbuster trade