Landing exactly between Trouba’s ask of $7 million and Winnipeg request of $4 million, both parties were simultaneously notified by email of the $5.5 million settlement agreement, almost exactly 48 hours after the arbitration hearing ended.
The Winnipeg Jets – who will surely accept the $5.5 million contract awarded by the arbitrator – will choose to lock Trouba down for just one year, providing one more shot at restricted free agency for the 24-year-old, after this one-year contract concludes in July of 2019.
Although Winnipeg and General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff are able to begin negotiating an extension with Trouba and his agent on January 1st, 2018, the expectation is that the same process very well may take place in exactly one year’s time. However, in that instance, the Jets would choose the two-year contract option, thus providing Winnipeg with at least one additional year of service from their former ninth overall draft pick (2012), before he hits unrestricted free agency.
Trouba only managed to dress in 55 games for Winnipeg in 2017-18 due to injury, and has yet to complete an entire 82-game schedule over the course of his five-year tenure in Manitoba. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound blueliner scored 10 goals in his rookie season with Winnipeg – a total he has yet to surpass.
Trouba’s most productive season on the scoreboard came in 2016-17, where he collected eight goals, 33 points and 54 penalty minutes. In missing out on 27 contests in 2017-18, the Rochester, MI. native fared respectably, putting together a decent three goals and 24 points, alongside two goals and three points in 17 playoff games. Trouba has never finished an NHL season with a plus/minus rating lower than +2, holding an average of +5.8.
With the departure of fellow defenceman and long-term Jet Toby Enstrom, the blueline will look slightly different for Winnipeg in 2018-19. Last season’s trade deadline acquisition Joe Morrow will hope to land a full-time gig on the back-end, while youngsters Tucker Poolman and Sami Niku will make life very difficult for 27-year-old Ben Chiarot.
With the clock ticking on upcoming hearings with fellow RFAs Brandon Tanev (July 25th) and Marko Dano (July 30th), Cheveldayoff has a busy schedule ahead of him. On top of the two others who filed for salary arbitration, Winnipeg has six other players in need of contracts, with just under $13 million left to spend.
Josh Morrissey will demand the largest sum, with Eric Comrie, Nic Petan, Tucker Poolman, Nic Kerdiles and JC Lipon following shortly thereafter.