In 35 games this season, the 32-year-old blueliner has scored just one goal and nine points. He is a plus-2 and has 26 PIM so far this season, but one problem surrounds around his numerous giveaways and lack of physicality on the blueline.
Despite an overall drop in his offensive and defensive game, Enstrom still factors into the top four. However, there are many options when it comes to trading away Enstrom, and likely many teams who would pay for a top-four blueliner of his calibre.
Could The Jets Trade Toby Enstrom?
First off, Enstrom is a solid, experienced shutdown defenseman. Not only can he eat big minutes, but he’s a proven puck-moving blueliner who can put up points and start the breakout with outstanding passing and great on-ice intelligence. He can still slot into the top four and be productive on special teams.
On the contrary, it looks as if his overall rating is going down from this point forward. He seems to struggle when it comes to putting up as many points as he has in the past, and he lost a lot of his offensive edge. Not to mention, he takes poor penalties and lacks physicality, which leads to him losing battles in the defensive zone and even failing to win those fights in the corners. With that in mind, he may not be a player that teams would pay a lot for, given his age and decline.
Should The Jets Trade Toby Enstrom?
Winnipeg has great prospects and up-and-coming defenders waiting in the wings, so many are curious as to why Enstrom is still the Jets’ go-to guy on the top four. It is simply because he is still an important shutdown defenseman, as well as a leader and a strong voice in the locker room. His experience and time with the Jets is unparalleled, and he is surely an important member of the organization as a whole.
In addition, though he and Jacob Trouba don’t do the best job on the bottom pairing, Enstrom is helping Trouba have a more solid performance, and Trouba fares better with him when it comes to what really matters: goals against. So in a way, with Enstrom playing with Trouba, he is not pulling him down, but instead, he is helping him when it comes to developing and mentoring him into a stronger, puck-moving defenseman.
To argue that Trouba does have a stronger relative Corsi without Enstrom and would benefit from having a younger partner, or moving up to play with someone like Byfuglien. In the end, Enstrom isn’t vital to Trouba’s growth, though he does seem to benefit him for the time being.
I’m going to stand by the long-tenured Thrasher/Jet and say this: hold onto Enstrom. Let the young blueliners continue to develop and gain experience; there’s a top-four defenseman that may be in the twilight of his career, but shows true heart and effort each game, and knows how to move the puck.