The Carolina Hurricanes need their veteran presence
The playoffs provide an opportunity for Vincent Trocheck to find his role in the Carolina Hurricanes.
Like most hockey fans, I was cautiously optimistic that the Carolina Hurricanes would make something special happen with the trade deadline, just as other fans wished the same for their team. Unfortunately, the untimely pause of the regular season has given fans a small amount of time to review these trade decisions.
Vincent Trocheck is a 27-year-old Center that has spent his entire seven-year career in Florida. He is closing out his seventh year with the Carolina Hurricanes after being acquired by the Canes at the 2020 trade deadline. Trocheck’s seven games with the Canes so far have yielded one goal and one assist.
As is evident in the video below, Trocheck seems to be fitting in well with the rest of the boys and the culture that the team has cultivated. Given his short tenure with the team so far, Trocheck has a chance in the playoffs to prove that he can, in the words of Sara Civian for the Athletic (paywall), “hold down the fort until Martin Necas is ready to assume the position.”
As Omar Abdelgawad has reminded Caniacs, the Trocheck trade was not a small deal. However, the great point he makes is that the Canes essentially traded several UFA’s for a guaranteed Center for at least years.
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That alone makes it a win in Carolina’s book.
There are several things that stand out to me about Trocheck during his time with the Florida Panthers. He seems to possess all the necessary skills that make up a great hockey center: vision, skating speed, and a very quick shot.
Trocheck was tracking a Corsi For % of 53% with the Florida Panthers and 54% with the Carolina Hurricanes for the 2019 season. After four games without a shot on goal, including his first two games with the Carolina Hurricanes, Trocheck scored on one of three shots with the overtime winner against the Islanders on 03/07, and one assist against Detroit on 03/10.
The play above is an example of the talent that Trocheck possesses. Instead of forcing the shot, Trocheck possesses the vision to make the difficult redirection to Hoffman who has an open shot on the net. In this contest against the Vegas Golden Knights on 02/06, Trocheck put up a goal and an assist.
It looks like Trocheck will stay on the line with Nino Niederreiter and Martin Necas (or Ryan Dzingel) for the playoffs. Although these training camp lines are probably not set in stone, this is the line Trocheck has been on since he was traded to the Hurricanes so I don’t see Brind’Amour changing this before the playoffs.
The Dzingel/Necas/Trocheck (formerly Haula) line accounts for the second-most points for the Hurricanes. Necas acquired five points in the last ten games, and Niederreiter accounts for 4. I would like to see this line with the new addition of Trocheck continue to stay on the scoreboard.
As much as Caniacs have come to love the elite SAT line, any great hockey team must have a depth of players that are capable of scoring and capitalizing on opportunities. Trocheck possesses this skill, and I want to see him anchor this line during the playoffs.
Trocheck will be my most-watched player during the Qualifying Round against the New York Rangers. I have very high hopes for his time with the Hurricanes, and I think he will be a great example for Martin Necas as he prepares to anchor the center position in the near future.
I think it is still too early to determine whether or not the Trocheck trade was the best move for Carolina. However, I think Caniacs will start to get an idea in the playoffs how well Trocheck fits with the Hurricanes. I am hoping for several points for Trocheck during the qualifying round and a strong presence on the ice.