Vincent Trocheck recorded over 50 points last season and helped the Carolina Hurricanes win the Metropolitan division for the second consecutive year.
Now, the talented center joins the New York Rangers to attempt to go on another deep playoff run with the team that knocked out the Hurricanes in the second round.
Early Wednesday afternoon saw the 29 year old sign a seven year deal worth an AAV of $5.625 million.
Speaking to the media for the first time as a member of the Blueshirts, Trocheck was more than excited to be joining a title contender.
“Me and my family both are elated to have the opportunity to play in New York.” Trocheck said in a statement. “An Original Six team, playing at Madison Square Garden…as a kid, these are the kind of things that you dream of.”
The Rangers eliminated the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals last season. Trocheck and his family cited the playoff series as a big reason why he was interested in coming to the Big Apple.
“We played against the Rangers last year, and seeing how good they’ve been the last couple of years and how they’re trending upwards was something that drew us toward them.” the 29-year old said.
The former Panther and Hurricane pencils in easily as a second line center behind Mika Zibanejad, and joins a loaded offensive group that also holds Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider.
Panarin is coming off a career year in points and assists, and has repeatedly made players around him better. The potential combination of Panarin and Trocheck is extremely enticing for the newcomer.
“The chance to play with him is something that everyone would dream of. He’s a special talent. Getting to watch him over the years has been fun. Having a chance to play with a guy like that is something I’ve never really had in my career.” Trocheck added.
Trocheck’s 2021 season and Coaching Familiarity
Trocheck is coming off one of his best statistical seasons as a pro by totaling 51 points and 21 goals. Both were the highest the center had recorded since the 2017-18 season with the Florida Panthers. Trocheck’s coach in New York is someone he is familiar with. For three seasons the center played under Gerard Gallant in Florida bad in the mid-2010’s.
The 29 year old is pleased to be working with the Rangers head coach again.
“It had a lot to do with it. I spent some time with Turk in Florida. I got to know him really well and I had a really good relationship with him down there. He’s one of my favorite coaches that I’ve ever had, so having him in New York was another huge draw.”” Trocheck said to the media.
To sign a player like Trocheck instantly moves the Rangers into the true contenders for a Stanley Cup Championship. The center blends in well with the young core that consists of Alexis Lafrenière and Kaapo Kakko, while also competing with the stars of the team like Panarin and Mika.
His physicality and gritty play also stand-out on a player that does a little bit of everything on the ice. Trocheck’s style is expected to fit right in.
“I’m a little bit grittier, hard-nosed, but still have the ability to bring some talent and skill to the game… I like to think of myself as a 200-foot centerman who plays both sides of the ice pretty well… I definitely won’t shy away from the corners.” the center said.
General manager Chris Drury understands that when competing for a championship, getting the best players possible matters.
“Just excited to have Vincent on board. I think he’s a real good player, does a lot of different things – we’re excited to have him.” Drury said during the team’s introductory press conference.
Drury later would go on to add that the team wasn’t done in free agency either.
The addition of Trocheck spells the end of the short stints in New York for Andrew Copp, and Frank Vatrano. With the team in a little bit of a cap bind (close to $3 million in space left) the ability to make another big name splash is unlikely for the Rangers.
Trocheck’s well-rounded abilities more than make up for the losses though as the Rangers prepare for a deep playoff run.
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