The Carolina Hurricanes made a splash on Monday, acquiring center Vincent Trocheck from the Florida Panthers ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline. Here’s a look at the deal.
Saturday night’s win over the Toronto Maple Leafs was undoubtedly a feel-good moment for the Carolina Hurricanes. Newly-minted folk hero David Ayres stole the show, becoming the first emergency backup goalie to earn an NHL win. There were, however, dark clouds around the victory.
Injuries claimed both James Reimer and Petr Mrazek, leading to the call-ups of Alex Nedeljkovic and Anton Forsberg. Star defenseman Brett Pesce was also lost, ensuring that this year’s deadline would be a very interesting one for a Hurricanes team in the middle of a playoff push.
While rumors floated about the Hurricanes looking help on the blueline and in goal, the first move of the day brought a new forward to Raleigh in the form of Vincent Trocheck:
The Panthers also nabbed defensive prospect Chase Priskie in the deal.
I’m not going to linger too long on what the Hurricanes gave up, so let’s have a quick overview. Erik Haula is on an expiring contract and has been dealing with lingering injury issues. Rumors of a rift with head coach Rod Brind’Amour indicated that Haula would be gone, regardless.
Lucas Wallmark is a fan favorite, but his bottom-six role will likely be filled by Jordan Martinook. Eetu Luostarinen is a decent prospect who is having an okay season with Charlotte but is behind Morgan Geekie on the center depth chart. Priskie, a highly touted college free-agent signing, was having a strong season in the AHL, though the recent acquisition of Joey Keane should ease his loss.
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So, what are the Hurricanes getting with Trocheck? For starters, the 26-year-old center is a right-handed shot and that’s a plus as Carolina only has two other forwards (joining Martin Necas and Justin Williams) who fit that bill. He was also part of the Panthers’ leadership core, serving as an alternate captain in Sunrise.
In 55 games with the Panthers this season, Trocheck has amassed 10 goals and 26 assists while averaging 16:52 of ice time per game. He’s a fast skater as well, a trait that bodes well for his transition to the Hurricanes. On top of that, he’s signed through the 2021-22 season with an AAV of $4.75 million, so he’s not a rental.
Trocheck missed a chunk of time last season with a broken ankle, an injury suffered after colliding with the boards while battling for the puck. I should also mention that the player he was entangled with was then-Ottawa Senators forward Ryan Dzingel.
In 420 regular-season games, Trocheck has picked up 111 goals and 171 assists for 282 points (.67 ppg). His career year came in 2017-18, a season that saw him pick up 31 goals and 44 assists in 82 games. He can kill penalties if needed and slide in on the power play, offering good versatility, another characteristic that should fit in well with his new team.
What do you think of the Trocheck acquisition? Do you think the Carolina Hurricanes gave up too much in the deal or are you okay with the pieces moved?