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Photo Credit: © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Pilots Logbook 2018-19: Jacob Trouba

It’s finally over. This is the last logbook for Jacob Trouba after his tumultuous run with the Jets organization. While his play on the ice will be sorely missed next season, it’s a breath of fresh air knowing that there won’t be another contract stalemate this summer. As a farewell to Trouba, let’s look back at his final season with Winnipeg.

Jacob Trouba
8 – Defense
6’3″ / 202 lbs / Age: 25

The Numbers

 JACOB TROUBA’S 2018-19 REGULAR SEASON STATS
Season GP G A PTS +/- PIM S S% TSA ATOI BLK HIT TK GV
2018-19 82 8 42 50 8 58 162 4.9 367 22:53 171 112 48 86
Career 408 42 137 179 37 297 847 5.0 1863 22:53 818 639 200 431
JACOB TROUBA’S 2018-19 REGULAR SEASON ADVANCED STATS (5V5)
Cors Cors Cors Cors Fenw Fenw Fenw Fenw PDO PDO PDO PDO PDO Zone Zone
Season GP TOI CF CA CF% CF% rel FF FA FF% FF% rel oiGF oiSH% oiGA oiSV% PDO oZS% dZS%
2018-19 82 1505.4 1465 1513 49.2 0.7 1106 1113 49.8 2.0 81 10.1 77 90.9 101.0 51.2 48.8
Career 408 7464.9 7265 7087 50.6 0.0 5381 5153 51.1 0.6 351 9.0 327 91.4 100.4 49.6 50.4

Contract Status

Who cares?!? It’s a freeing feeling knowing that Winnipeg’s most difficult contract negotiator is out of town. Had Trouba not been dealt, he almost certainly would have gone through arbitration once again before signing elsewhere next summer. Trouba’s is still an RFA for one more season before finally becoming a UFA in the summer of 2020.

Player’s Season in Review

Trouba is coming off a career year as he topped the 50 point plateau for the first time of his career. He finished 13th among all NHL defensemen in that regard. With Byfuglien spending a lot of time in the press-box with injuries, Trouba had his first real opportunity quarterbacking the powerplay. He finished with 18 powerplay points which is more than his entire career up until this year. One of the biggest positives of Trouba’s game is that he can play in all situations as he finished with the most total minutes among all Jets defensemen and ranked second in both SH TOI/GP (2:28) and PP TOI/GP (2:04).

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Trouba’s always been a strong defensemen, but his point totals were previously holding him back. With that starting to increase with more opportunity, he has turned into a strong top pairing defender in today’s NHL.

Although the advanced stats aren’t as strong as the boxscore numbers, Morrissey and Trouba went up against the opposition’s best line nearly every single game. Trouba finished with an on-ice xGoals% of 48.5% and a scoring chance for % of 49.64%. While both of these numbers are slightly below the 50% line, they are close to the team average.

In terms of shot maps, the team was fairly close to league average with Trouba on the ice. There wasn’t an outrageous number of dangerous chances given up, but still a few too many given Trouba’s status as a top pairing defensemen in the league.

On the other hand, Trouba has always excelled in the offensive zone with strong reads and a knack for getting the puck on net. As you can see, Trouba is able to generate far more shots from the right side than league average.

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While this is partly because of Trouba’s ability, the other main reason for the excess of shots is that Trouba benefits from playing alongside Morrissey, who excels at stopping the puck at the blueline and making excellent D to D passes. This frees up more space for Trouba who can then get the puck towards the net.

While most of the numbers look favourably on Trouba, the eye test is hit and miss. Some games Trouba looks like a true number one defensemen, capable of generating scoring chances and also breaking up plays in his own zone. On his off-games, Trouba likes to dish out lots of turnovers, especially in his own end. The inconsistency is the biggest thing holding Trouba back at this point in his career.

The Playoffs

JACOB TROUBA’S 2019 PLAYOFF STATS
Season GP G A PTS +/- PIM S S% TSA ATOI BLK HIT TK GV
2018-19 6 0 1 1 -2 4 8 0.0 23 21:57 7 6 3 6
Career 27 2 4 6 3 23 59 3.4 124 21:20 55 36 13 29
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/20/2019.
JACOB TROUBA’S 2019 PLAYOFF ADVANCED STATS (ALL SITUATIONS
Cors Cors Cors Cors Fenw Fenw Fenw Fenw PDO PDO PDO PDO PDO Zone Zone
Season GP TOI CF CA CF% CF% rel FF FA FF% FF% rel oiGF oiSH% oiGA oiSV% PDO oZS% dZS%
2018-19 6 131.7 107 124 46.3 -4.9 82 92 47.1 -3.0 2 3.3 6 90.0 93.3 48.9 51.1
Career 27 576.1 555 624 47.1 -6.7 404 451 47.3 -6.5 21 7.2 30 90.7 97.9 46.8 53.2
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/20/2019.

Even with a career year offensively, Trouba wasn’t able to bring that scoring into the playoffs. He played well throughout the series, but only managed to chip in one assist in six games. Even two years ago Trouba had difficulty finding the scoresheet in the playoffs as he only had two goals and one assist during the run to the conference finals. Whether it’s bad luck or playing it safe, Trouba’s offense has dried up over the last two playoff runs.

What We Said A Year Ago

“Jacob Trouba’s season could be characterized as boring. He didn’t lead the team in any categories, nor did he set any new career highs statistically. While most often this would be seen as negative, it was quite possibly the best thing for Trouba given his history.”

Future Outlook

The future is much more certain for Trouba with his recent trade to the Rangers. He almost certainly would have gone through arbitration again had he stayed in Winnipeg. If he wants to stay in New York, he can choose to sign there long term this summer. If not, he can elect arbitration again before choosing his destination in one year. His play on the ice will keep him on the top pairing in virtually any market, as he’s coming off a career year and is still only 25 years old. Whatever the future holds for Trouba, it’s no longer a concern for Jets fans which will give many people a sigh of relief.

FINAL GRADE: B+