Vincent Trocheck (67) celebrating a pre-season goal with the Panthers. Will he be celebrating a regular season goal in a Florida uniform anytime soon? Robert Mayer USA TODAY Sports

Minor Nips: Vincent Trocheck Impressing In AHL

Vincent Trocheck had three goals and two assists in two games this weekend as the San Antonio Rampage split a pair of home games against the Oklahoma City Barons.

Trocheck tallied a goal and an assist in Friday’s 5-4 loss and added two goals and one assist in Saturday’s 4-2 win. He now has nine points, five goals and four assists, in eight games in his first professional season. The twenty-year-old Panther prospect has wasted no time becoming San Antonio’s go-to guy. He is currently leading the Rampage in both points (9) and goals (5). His five goals are particularly impressive as no other Rampage player has more than two.

The Rampage’s record is 3-5-0 after their split weekend. They currently have six points and occupy last place in the West Division. Dov Grumet-Morris got the start Friday for San Antonio and allowed five goals on 39 shots. Michael Houser was in the net Saturday and stopped 25 of 27 en rout to his second win of the season. Houser, 21, has been San Antonio’s best goal so far as he has accumulated a .930 Sv% through two games compared to Grumet-Morris’ .907 in four games.

In addition to Trocheck, Bobby Butler scored two goals over the weekend while Quinton Howden, Greg Rallo, and Joey Crabb each had one. Trocheck, who was one of the Panthers’ last cuts, is making a strong case to be the first forward called up by the Panthers if the situation arises. The situation would arise if one of the Panthers’ forwards goes down with an injury or if one of the veteran forwards is traded away.

If a spot on the Panthers’ roster becomes available, I think the following players would all merit serious consideration for the call-up: Trocheck, Howden, Crabb, Butler, Drew Shore and Greg Rallo. Trocheck has been the best player for the Rampage so far but he is also the most inexperienced player out of the aforementioned six. Trocheck will undoubtedly be a part of the Panthers future but if a short-term call up opportunity arises, the Panthers may elect to go with a Crabb or Butler type. Both have more experience and both would fit better in a fourth line grinder role that any call-up would probably be expected to fill.

Trocheck is obviously thriving in the minors right now and he is receiving a ton of ice time and time to develop his game. The Panthers may not want to mess with that right now. However, I would be surprised if we do not see Trocheck at some point this season, he is too good of an offensive player to not at least get a couple games in with the Panthers.

The Rampage are off until Saturday November 2nd when the play the Charlotte Checkers in San Antonio. The Rampage then have a rare pair of mid-week games Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov 4-5) on the road against the Abbotsford Heat.

Cincinnati Cyclones

The Panthers’ ECHL affiliate, the Cincinnati Cyclones had a good week going 2-0 in their two games. Cincinnati beat the Toledo Walleye 3-2 in overtime on Thursday night and then followed the win up with a 5-4 shootout win over the Fort Wayne Komets Saturday night in Fort Wayne.

The Cyclones improved to 3-0-0 on the season and will look to remain undefeated when they travel to Toledo for a rematch against the Walleye on Wednesday night.

Do you think Trocheck’s play merits a shot with the Panthers soon? Are you unimpressed by San Antonio’s start to the season? Impressed by the Cyclones? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and follow The Rat Trick on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest from the Panthers, Rampage and the Cyclones.

Tags: Cincinnati Cyclones San Antonio Rampage Vincent Trocheck

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