Early concerns regarding Vincent Trocheck fit with Rangers proves ridiculous
It’s funny sometimes how preseason concerns can vanish overnight in hockey. Such was the case with Vincent Trocheck and the questions surrounding how he will fit with the New York Rangers.
In the preseason, he and winger Artemi Panarin were struggling to find cohesion. This had the potential to be a big issue considering the Rangers let Panarin’s center and close friend, Ryan Strome walk in free agency in order to sign Trocheck.
“No, it’s not as good,” Gerard Gallant said of the preseason chemistry between the two. “It’s all about real games. I don’t expect them to go out there and bust their asses every shift (in preseason). Trocheck is a new player trying to find his way with our team. I’m not disappointed in anybody.”
Let’s be fair, chemistry takes time to build. Heading into the 2022-23 season, people were preparing for Trocheck and Panarin to struggle in the early going. That didn’t happen.
Vincent Trocheck a perfect fit with the Rangers
Trocheck, 29, registered 21 goals and 51 points with the Carolina Hurricanes last season. He is a two-way player, who is regarded as a Brad Marchand type that can score and get under your skin. Another key aspect to his game is an ability to win draws which has been a thorn in the Rangers side for a long time. For his career, Trocheck is 52.1% in between the dots.
All of those reasons are why the Rangers made the decision to take what little cap space they had to use in free agency and sign him to a 7-deal this summer for $5.625M AAV.
That being said, how would Trocheck and Panarin mesh? One is a straight-ahead type player and the other is an east-west wizard with the puck. Then there was the power play to consider, as Strome was part of one of the best units in the NHL.
Just five games into his tenure with the Rangers, Trocheck has 2 goals, and 4 assists for 6 points. Furthermore, Trocheck has assisted on 2 out of Panarin’s 3 goals, while Panarin has assisted on both his goals.
On the power play, Trocheck has recorded 1 goal and 1 assist taking over for Strome in the bumper position. He’s also 51.2% on draws.
“I’m getting more and more comfortable as we go on,” Trocheck said “Getting used to my linemates tendencies, it takes a little time but slowly we’re getting there.”
Vincent Trocheck says he can be better
Trocheck admits his game can be better. In particular on the defensive side of the puck.
‘I’m glad we had these preseason games to sort things out,” Trocheck admitted. “I made quite a few mistakes throughout the preseason. It’s different coming into a new system and I was lost on a few plays. Nice to make those mistakes before we get to the regular season.”
And Trocheck truly did a great job using his exhibition games to work out all the kinks and adjust to the Rangers systems.
“We like to play fast and any chance we get to turn the puck over and go the other way we’re going to do as quick as we can,” Trocheck noted this week. “That’s the way we need to play.”
The Rangers new second-line center has blended in nicely with the group and understands his role well.
“I’m starting to fit in a little bit better on the power play,” Trocheck said. “I’m getting used to what their tendencies are. Those guys on the outside are zipping the puck around nicely and I just need to find an open area in the middle and expect to get the puck, basically.”
While it is still early in the season, Trocheck’s play has cast aside any doubts on fitting in. Honestly, he’s been a more than a perfect fit on Broadway and that bodes well for the team as the season progresses.
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