With Byfuglien signed, what is Trouba’s future in Winnipeg?


Congratulations to Jacob Trouba, who’s taken over from Dustin Byfuglien as Winnipeg’s most popular unsigned defenseman who may or may not be traded.

Trouba, 21, is a pending restricted free agent. And with Byfuglien locked up for another five years, now he’s the one being forced to answer the media’s questions.

“It’s definitely something new for me,” Trouba told the Winnipeg Free Press. “I haven’t really been around that. But it’s one of those things you can’t really control, so why worry about it?”

He didn’t offer much beyond that.

It’s not just Byfuglien’s big, new contract that has people wondering about Trouba’s future in Winnipeg. Tyler Myers is signed through 2018-19. All three are right shots.

Perhaps the most popular trade rumor involving Trouba has centered around Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic, also a right shot.

But with the Lightning reportedly in the market for a d-man of Trouba’s ilk, Jonathan Drouin‘s name has also come up.

And that’s only two options. If the Jets do end up making Trouba available, there would be no shortage of suitors. The Boston Bruins would no doubt be interested. The Vancouver Canucks, too. Both those teams are desperate for a young, right-shot d-man.

That’s not to say the Jets can’t re-sign Trouba, but unless they could get him to accept a bridge deal (a la Ryan Murray, also a 2012 draft pick), they’d have a fair bit of cap space tied up on one side of the blue line, which may not be ideal for a team with weaknesses elsewhere.