Upper St. Clair's Trocheck close to making NHL
SUNRISE, Fla. — Center Vince Trocheck, an Upper St. Clair native and Florida's top prospect, is an injury away from reaching the NHL.
Injuries aside, Trocheck appears ready for the NHL on his own accord.
Trocheck, the Panthers' third-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, led the Ontario Hockey League in scoring last season. He's leading San Antonio (Florida's AHL affiliate) in scoring this season.
“He'll get an opportunity,” Florida coach Peter Horachek said.
Maybe this season. Should two of Florida's top centers — Aleksander Barkov or Nick Bjugstad — have health issues, Trocheck immediately will be recalled, according to Horachek.
“If there's an injury to Barkov or Bjugstad,” Horachek confirmed, “he would get that opportunity.”
“Whenever they do decide to call me up, I'll be ready,” Trocheck said before playing in Oklahoma City on Saturday.
The 20-year-old center has produced nine goals and 18 points in 20 AHL games this season. Although he isn't large in stature — listed at 5-11, 180 pounds — the Panthers love his toughness and goal-scoring touch, projecting him as a top-six center.
“I really think his talent is just through the roof,” Florida defenseman Erik Gudbranson said. “He's going to be a good NHL player, and I think we're lucky to have him in our organization. I played against him in the OHL, and I saw all I needed to see.”
The Panthers believe that Trocheck's ideal time to break into the NHL is next season. Horachek explained that he would prefer Trocheck continue to dominate at the AHL level for an entire season.
“Rushing players to the NHL is not how you develop players,” Horachek said. “You don't force players up at the wrong time and the wrong place.”
Horachek, though, clearly is looking forward to Trocheck's arrival.
“He is pretty dynamic,” Horachek said. “He's got good offensive instincts. He's smart. He's really good with the puck. He has a great personality, and he's driven. He wants to do well.”
Working on the finer parts of the defensive game for Trocheck is all that seems to be separating him from the NHL. That and time.
“I think I've been playing pretty well in San Antonio,” Trocheck said. “There are just minor details they want me to continue to improve.”
Trocheck led the OHL in scoring with 109 points last season.
“He's going to be a good one,” Gudbranson said. “No doubt about it.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Under Rutherford, it’s been a sizeable shakeup for Penguins
- Baby Penguins notebook: Goalie Murray on historic run of success
- Winnik impresses Penguins in first workout
- Penguins’ Kunitz makes a dream come true
- Penguins notebook: Shootouts becoming a concern
- Finding perfect pairing for Ehrhoff key for Penguins
- Penguins finally find way to beat Capitals
- Trade for Winnik gives Penguins competition among bottom six
- Penguins notebook: No discipline for Capitals’ Wilson
- Crosby fights, Penguins lose to Blue Jackets
- Penguins add scoring depth by dealing for Maple Leafs’ Winnik