Rangers Report Cards: Grading the Right Defenseman

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Adam Fox #23 of the New York Rangers leaves the ice following a 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden on April 13, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Adam Fox #23 of the New York Rangers leaves the ice following a 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden on April 13, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – APRIL 18: Jacob Trouba #8 of the New York Rangers skates against the New Jersey Devils during Game One in the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Prudential Center on April 18, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – APRIL 18: Jacob Trouba #8 of the New York Rangers skates against the New Jersey Devils during Game One in the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Prudential Center on April 18, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Rangers Report Cards: Jacob Trouba: B (C)

Trouba’s season with the Rangers wasn’t his best outing.  Starting the season as captain, he battled through a wrist injury that held him back. Despite his rough patch, he still managed eight goals and 30 points while pairing up with K’Andre Miller.

In a league of cautious hits, Trouba’s the bold one. He’s like a hockey meteor shower. He ranked 19th in the “How to Knock Someone Over 101” class and fourth in “Blocking Shots Like a Human Wall.” among skaters who logged 200+ minutes. He’s got this gritty style that screams, “I’ll put my body on the line for the team.”

That said, Trouba gave away the puck like he was auditioning for a comedy show – 49 giveaways, 37 of them in the “oh-no-the-opponents-are-here” zone. And let’s not forget his putrid 63.65 XGoals against, second highest on the Rangers.

So, sometimes  Trouba and his partner let the other guys create too much havoc. When Trouba and Miller teamed up, it was like a mini rollercoaster of goals. They were expected to give up about 2.55 goals per 60 minutes, yet averaged 2.95 goals allowed per 60 minutes.

However, the 29-year-old balanced out his poor defense with his “I-didn’t-see-that-coming” 61.51 XGoals, good for third highest on the squad. Like they say, always give with one hand and take away with the other.

Trouba wasn’t the team’s scoring superstar, but he was 11th on the team in scoring, third amongst defensemen(8), and led the squad in hits(218) and blocked shots(196). He showed that defensemen can play defense and still contribute offensively.

In the playoffs, the speed demons that were the New Jersey Devils gave  Trouba a run for his money. He and Miller let in some high-danger chances and had a dreadful 8.57 XGoals against. that felt like he’d accidentally left the front door open for the other team.

Trouba’s secret weapon? Knocking guys flat at center ice. He did it to  Andreas Athanasiou before tossing his helmet and slamming the boards, which was the turning point in the Rangers regular season after their slow start.

He also crushed Calgary Flames star Nazeem Kadri for good measure.

Unfortunately,  Trouba was a no-show offensively in the postseason. Trouba collected as many points as you have wings – zero. However, when he knocked Timo Meier into next week in game seven with that open-ice hit, it was like a sudden spark of “Hey, we’re still in this!”

Despite the tough times, Trouba’s determination shines through. Watch out; next season, he’s bouncing back with a vengeance! Over time, he will prove that the $8.5 million cap hit is worth it.