The latest on Jacob Trouba and the New York Rangers: 8 potential trade fits

LAS VEGAS — New York Rangers general manager Chris Drury already showed a willingness to be ruthless this offseason when he put alternate captain Barclay Goodrow on waivers, which opened the door for San Jose — a team believed to be on Goodrow’s no-trade list — to grab him. He might not be done in his quest to create salary-cap space heading into free agency.

Captain Jacob Trouba appeared on colleague Chris Johnston’s trade board Wednesday, and the Rangers have asked him for his 15-team no-trade list ahead of July 1, when that clause of his contract activates, according to a league source.

Players are required to submit their no-trade lists before July 1 — if they don’t, the no-trade clause is essentially void. So most teams do not solicit no-trade lists from players and agents; when teams do that, it can definitely be a sign that the team is eager to make a deal. In Trouba’s case, asking for the list ahead of July 1 means the Rangers could find a trade partner this weekend and get Trouba’s approval without having to wait until Monday.

The 30-year-old Trouba is a key leader in the Rangers’ dressing room, and trading away a captain isn’t a decision teams make lightly. New York appears to be at least exploring the possibility, though. Trouba has an $8 million cap hit for the next two seasons — a hefty price for a defenseman who struggled in the playoffs and might be bumped to the third pair next season.

The Rangers have $12.8 million in cap space after the Goodrow waiver claim, according to CapFriendly, but a chunk of that will likely go to restricted free agents Ryan Lindgren and Braden Schneider. New York has interest in high-profile free agents, including Jake Guentzel, and would benefit from opening up more financial flexibility. Trading Trouba would certainly do that, though the Rangers would probably have to use some space to add another defenseman.

Trouba’s high-AAV contract could make a trade difficult, as could his 15-team no-trade list. There should still be interest in the veteran, though, especially if the Rangers retain some of his salary or attach picks or prospects to sweeten the deal.

Here’s a look at some potential fits.


The Red Wings already traded Jake Walman this week to clear some cap room. They have more than $30 million in space, though much of that will go to RFAs Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider, both foundational pieces. They’re also believed to be interested in re-signing Patrick Kane. That cap space could evaporate quickly.

Depending on what Detroit does with Justin Holl, who was a healthy scratch at points last season and has a $3.4 million cap hit for the next two seasons, Steve Yzerman could be in the market for another defenseman. Maybe Trouba will pique his interest.

It’s hard to say what teams Trouba will have on his no-trade list, but Detroit feels like one he’d leave off. He’s from the area and went to Michigan, plus the Red Wings were in playoff contention last season.

Big, right-shot defensemen like Trouba always entice teams. The Maple Leafs are going to be tight against the salary cap, but perhaps they’d be interested, especially if they can’t land Chris Tanev. They have a need on the right side.

There’s also the question of whether Trouba would want to go to a Canadian market. All seven north-of-the-border clubs could be on his no-trade list. We’re pretty sure Winnipeg’s on there.

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Trouba could bring a solid veteran presence to a young Nashville team. (Christopher Hanewinckel / USA Today)

The Predators have a good chunk of cap space and plenty of roster spots they need to fill. They’ll need to add at defense, especially after trading Ryan McDonagh to Tampa Bay. Trouba would get to continue playing for a playoff-level team if shipped to Nashville.

The Preds have loads of cap space and are in on many of the top free agents for Monday, so adding Trouba with possibly some cap retention by the Rangers would bolster their young group.

The Sabres need some more leadership in the room as the parade of former captains winning Stanley Cups ballooned to three in just the last five years, thanks to Kyle Okposo winning with the Florida Panthers.

Buffalo’s young, skilled blue line could do with a body-mover like Trouba, whose penalty-kill work would also help the young Sabres D corps.

The Bruins have a surprisingly large amount of cap space to work with at the moment and, though they’re full up on the right side with Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo and Andrew Peeke, you wonder if Trouba might be the right person for their third pair over Peeke, who didn’t perform up to expectations after he was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline.

Moving Trouba to a potential playoff opponent might not be Drury’s preference here.

All three California teams could be on Trouba’s no-trade list but if the Ducks aren’t on it, this one has potential. Anaheim only has Radko Gudas signed for next season on the right side — cue the jokes about a defense corps with Gudas and Trouba on it — and it’s a very young group beyond Gudas and Cam Fowler.

Now, if we’re talking pie-in-the-sky trade fits, how about Trouba for Frank Vatrano? The Ducks get a veteran leader for their defense and the Rangers solve their top-six right-wing issue with an old friend. Neat and tidy!

Florida Panthers

The defending champs certainly exploited some of Trouba’s weaknesses during the Eastern Conference final but Florida also has some holes to fill on its blue line. The Panthers were able to get the most out of vets Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Dmitry Kulikov. A group with Aaron Ekblad and Trouba could be difficult to win with, as both have declined in the last year, but the Panthers may have enough other elite talent to overcome getting a bit slower on the back end.

Utah Hockey Club

A team that needs bodies, period. The UHCs have zero (!!) defensemen signed for 2024-25; given their status as an also-ran during their past few years in Arizona, Trouba may well have them on his no-trade list. But also recall what happened with Goodrow — if Drury strikes a deal with Utah that Trouba rejects, the Rangers GM could go the waiver route after Monday and steer Trouba here. Utah is miles from the cap floor so the full $8 million hit likely wouldn’t faze it.

(Top photo: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

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