The Carolina Hurricanes got started early on deadline day, acquiring center Vincent Trocheck from the Florida Panthers. In exchange for Trocheck, the Panthers will receive Erik Haula and Lucas Wallmark, plus prospects Chase Priskie and Eetu Luostarinen.
Trocheck has ten goals and 26 assists this season and is a minus-3. The 26-year-old native of Pittsburgh has two full years remaining on a contract with an AAV of $4.75m, plus the remainder of this season. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2021-22 season.
Trocheck, a third-round draft pick by Florida in 2011 (64th overall), has played all seven years of his NHL career in South Florida. In 2017, he represented the Panthers in the All-Star game. He went on the following year to score a career-high 31 goals in the 2017-18 season.
On a conference call with reporters, Trocheck said he feels his injury woes are behind him, including the fractured ankle that cost him more than 30 games two seasons ago. “For the last month or so, I’ve felt back to my normal self, playing with speed and being able to do the things I used to be able to do,” he said. “At this point feel like I’m 100%.”
He also has embraced a role he wasn’t sure was cut out for him: that of a skilled pest, a role that prompted Jake Gardiner to say that “no one likes to play against (him).” When asked of his propensity to annoy the opposition, Trocheck said it was something he had to learn to accept. “Earlier in my career (...) I was a pest without really thinking about it. At this point it’s just become who I am as a player and I kind of have to embrace it. There’s been several players that haven’t enjoyed playing against me in the past and I think that’s a good thing.”
Trocheck should bring some balance to the Canes ranks of centers; he’s a right-shooting center with a 52.3% faceoff win percentage. He also replenishes the Canes’ ranks of former Plymouth Whalers, having spent part of his final junior season alongside new teammate Alex Nedeljkovic.
Trocheck knows what he’s getting into and he thinks it suits his game well. “They’re a tough team to play against. every time you play the Carolina Hurricanes you know it’s going to be a tough game,” said Trocheck. “It’s tough to play against and it’s going to be hard to score. They play a fast-paced game and that’s where I think I fit in.”
The newest Hurricane seems likely to slot into Haula’s now-vacated spot between Nino Niederreiter and Martin Necas, at least to start. Jordan Martinook will likely slide to center the fourth line with Justin Williams and Brock McGinn. The release from the team is below.
CANES ACQUIRE VINCENT TROCHECK FROM FLORIDA
Carolina sends Haula, Wallmark, Luostarinen and Priskie to Panthers
Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired center Vincent Trocheck from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forwards Erik Haula, Lucas Wallmark and Eetu Luostarinen and defenseman Chase Priskie.
“Vincent brings elements of skill and competitiveness that fit the mold of the style we want to play,” said Waddell. “He’s a right-handed center who is excellent in the face-off circle. With two years left on his contract after this one, this fills a need for our roster for this year and moving forward.”
Trocheck, 26, is in his seventh NHL season and has netted 10 goals and added 26 assists (36 points) in 55 games. The Pittsburgh native is sixth among Panthers skaters in assists, seventh in scoring and third in face-off percentage (52.3%). Florida’s third-round pick (64th overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft, Trocheck (5’10”, 183 lbs.) has appeared in 420 career NHL games with Florida, totaling 111 goals and 171 assists (282 points) and appearing in the 2017 NHL All-Star Game in Los Angeles. Trocheck has represented the United States at two major international competitions, winning gold at the 2013 World Junior Championship and participating in the 2014 IIHF World Championship. He also played for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Prior to turning professional, Trocheck led the Ontario Hockey League in scoring with 109 points (50g, 59a) in 63 games with Saginaw and Plymouth in 2012-13, winning the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL’s most outstanding player.