Evolution of Rangers’ Vincent Trocheck from Sunrise to Broadway

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

As the New York Rangers get set to face off against the nasty Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Final, all eyes are on Vincent Trocheck, who has emerged as a crucial player for the Rangers.

In the Rangers’ current postseason run, Trocheck has been on fire, amassing 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 10 games. His contributions have been instrumental in the team’s success, including a critical overtime goal in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Carolina Hurricanes, which tied the franchise record for the longest goal streak in playoff history (5).

Just as important has been his tenacious and agitating style, which has driven opponents crazy. The 30-year-old center was an absolute menace and thorn in the Hurricanes side, to haunt his former team. Whether it was giving Jake Guentzel a thumbs up for taking a penalty, or celebrating in Sebastian Aho’s face after absorbing a hit to make a play on a goal, he’s exactly what you need in the postseason.

No one should be surprised with how he’s performing. Everything he’s done since being signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2022, is exactly what general manager Chris Drury wanted.

“It’s an important part of any hockey team and it’s a hole we wanted to address,” Drury said after signing Trocheck to a 7-year deal with a $5.625 million AAV. “Just excited to have Vincent on board. He’s a real good player, does a lot of different things. We’re excited to have him.”

Originally selected by the Panthers in the third round of the 2011 NHL Draft, Trocheck’s journey through the NHL has been one of perseverance, growth, and significant contributions on the ice. His evolution from his early days with Florida to becoming a pivotal player on Broadway emphasizes his impressive career trajectory and his impact on the Blueshirts.

Evolution of Vincent Trocheck

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Vincent Trocheck began his NHL career with the Florida Panthers during the 2013-14 season, making an immediate impact with 8 points in 20 games. Over the next few seasons, he established himself as a reliable center, known for his scoring ability and tenacity. His breakout season came in 2015-16, when he recorded 53 points in 76 games, showcasing his offensive prowess and earning him a spot among the League’s rising stars.

During his tenure with the Panthers, Trocheck consistently improved his performance, with his best season coming in 2017-18 where he produced 75 points. His efforts earned him a selection to the 2017 NHL All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

In the 2019-20 season, Trocheck was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for Erik Haula, Lucas Wallmark, and two prospects. Despite the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, he managed to make an impact, contributing 38 points in 62 games during the regular season.

Trocheck’s playoff experience with the Hurricanes was notable, particularly in the 2021-22 season, where he registered 10 points (6 goals, 4 assists) in 14 games. His faceoff win percentage was impressive, often exceeding 50%, which highlighted his value in crucial game situations.

Trocheck’s move to the New York Rangers in the 2022-23 season marked a new chapter in his career. In his first season with the Rangers, he tallied 64 points in 82 games, demonstrating his ability to adapt and thrive in a larger sports market. His contributions were pivotal in helping the Rangers reach the playoffs, though he managed only 1 point in 7 games against the New Jersey Devils.

“For me, 10 years in the league, not winning, it really, it wears on you,” Trocheck explained after losing in the first round. “You only get so many chances to have teams that are capable of winning a Stanley Cup. We need to not take for granted the ability we have with this team.” 

The veteran took that playoff defeat to heart and turned it into a standout 2023-24 campaign. Trocheck recorded a career-high 77 points in 82 games, playing a key role in the Rangers’ offensive attack. His performance earned him a spot in the 2024 NHL All-Star Game and the prestigious Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, highlighting his dedication and impact on the team.

“You always want the fans on your side so it’s nice to have them on my side,” Trocheck said after winning the honor. “It means a lot to me and I feel very welcome.”

Trocheck’s ability to perform in high-pressure situations has been a key asset for the Rangers all year. His faceoff win percentage remains impressive at 58.3% this postseason, often taking many of the team’s critical draws. His defensive contributions, coupled with his scoring ability, make him a well-rounded player who can influence the game at both ends of the ice.

“I mean, he’s been doing it since Day 1,” Chris Kreider praised after eliminating the Hurricanes. “I feel like he’s finally getting some of the attention he deserves. He’s a horse for us. He does everything. I mean, Jordan Staal is no small guy. He’s pretty good in the dot. Probably one of the best to ever do it. Vincent’s incredible, every time he goes in to take faceoffs, he digs in, gives us a chance. Beyond that, the way he carries the puck, forechecks, he does everything for us.”

As the Rangers aim for a spot in the Stanley Cup Final, Trocheck’s journey from Florida to New York serves as a testament to his relentless work ethic and growth as a player. His evolution and current form are key to the Rangers’ success. The fans and his teammates alike will be looking to him to continue his outstanding performance and help lead the Blueshirts to their first championship in 30 years.

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