The Rangers got some bad news early this afternoon. It has been revealed that Rangers’ defenseman, Jacob Trouba, will be out 4-6 weeks with an upper-body injury. This occurred sometime in the second period of last night’s game as Trouba did not return for the third period.
In the game, Trouba had an assist, four shots on goal, and blocked four shots in 13:11 of ice time.
Trouba Loss Big For Rangers’ Defense
This is a big blow to a Rangers defense that has taken some beating lately. It’s also a blow to a defense that has been much improved over last year’s team, with a new defensive coach, Jacque Martin at the helm. Trouba had been paired with Rangers rookie K’Andre Miller for most of the season, prior to his injury.
Interestingly enough, his partner did not play yesterday due to an undisclosed injury, however, he has returned to practice today. The Rangers have now lost three of six opening-night defensive starters, whether it be to injury or waivers. Trouba had three points in fourteen games on the season and averaged 21:40 minutes of ice time. That is down from 21:40 last year. Adam Fox, who is the Rangers’ best defenseman, has averaged 24:56.
Much of that has been the Rangers’ reliance on him in penalty kill situations, where he has defended well. Unfortunately for the Rangers and Trouba, it hasn’t translated as well to even-strength time. With K’Andre Miller now back in the fold, at least in practice, Brendan Smith and Jack Johnson have been alternating.
Trouba is in the second year of a seven-year contract, worth $56 million. He scored 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists) in 70 games last season. Trouba has improved on the defensive end slightly, however, has still not lived up to the big contract he signed. Nonetheless, it’s a blow the Rangers will feel on defense, where they have become much weaker in the last two weeks.