The Winnipeg Jets and Jacob Trouba were miles apart with their arbitration requests, but an arbitrator has split the difference and awarded the young defenseman a $5.5 million, one-year contract for the 2018-19 NHL season.
At $5.5 million, Trouba will receive a nice raise over his previous $3 million salary. While the amount did not align with the $7 million he was seeking in arbitration, the number was clearly inflated by Trouba’s camp to help land at an appropriate salary. Similarly, the Jets undervalued Trouba on their $4 million offer.
Injuries prevented Trouba from having the season he would have hoped for during 2017-18, but despite that he still put up respectable numbers. With three goals and 21 assists among 24 points, Trouba could have had a career year if he played a full season. Unfortunately, he was limited to only 55 games.
The former first-round pick has now had a series of contract issues with the Winnipeg Jets. Two years ago, Trouba remained sidelined through training camp and the start of the regular season while holding out for a new contract. He eventually agreed on a two-year contract worth $3 million per season. After an arbitration hearing this offseason, the Jets and Trouba are likely to repeat the same process again next summer. At that time, however, the Jets will also owe significant raises to restricted free-agents Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor, and will need to re-sign unrestricted free agent Tyler Myers as well.
With the Winnipeg Jets core right in their prime, it would not be ideal to trade Trouba during the regular season unless they were receiving a fantastic return. He has the ability to line up as a standout top four defender, and can contribute offensively as well. On the other hand, unless the Jets are able to come up with a long term offer in 2019 that is pleasing to Trouba’s camp, the odds will increase that he moves on from the organization that drafted him in 2012.