Florida Panthers: Will Vincent Trocheck Bounce Back in 2020?

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 05: Vincent Trocheck #21 of the Florida Panthers skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on March 5, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 05: Vincent Trocheck #21 of the Florida Panthers skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on March 5, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images) /

After a disappointing 2018-19 season that was hampered by injury, Vincent Trocheck will look to bounce back under Joel Quenneville next season.

Vincent Trocheck returned earlier than expected, but still missed nearly two whole months with a leg injury suffered against Ottawa in November. Trocheck, despite four points in his first three games back, struggled to find consistency and the full health to come back at full strength.

He played just 37 more games after the leg injury and had a rather meek 19 points in that time. Compared to his start to the season, in which he had 15 points in his first 18 games, it was a big disappointment and reason why Florida came up so much shorter than the season prior.

This injury came at a bad time for Vinny’s development. Coming off his best season, in which Trocheck had 75 points (31G & 44A) in a complete 82-game season, it was disappointing to see the center go down at that time, especially after exploding in the second half of the 2017-18 campaign, in which Trocheck finished the year with 18 points (7G & 11A) across his final 19 games.

The biggest problem definitely came with trying to recover from a difficult injury. With just three multi-point games in his final 37 games of last season, it was frustrating for all members of the organization to see the forward not contributing at the same level.

For a forward that really loves to play through speed, playing with an injured knee really limited the impact he could make.

He seemed slower, yet was still rotated onto the ice for 20-plus minutes 15 times from January to March, and finished the season reduced to an average of around 18:30 time on ice.

Another problem Trocheck faced could’ve been the difference in lines in the last two seasons. In 2017-18, Trocheck was paired with Jonathan Huberdeau and Jamie McGinn for the end of the season, while in 2018-19 he found himself in between Frank Vatrano and Mike Hoffman. While Hoffman and Vatrano finished with career-high numbers in Florida, Vinny’s numbers dwindled.

Ten goals in 55 games is a ratio barely better than his rookie numbers, in which Trocheck scored 12 goals through 70 games in his first two seasons.

Trocheck went through seriously worrying stretches without scoring, including one stretch that went for over a month without finding the back of the net.

One problem could’ve been the linemates he was playing with. Huberdeau is a much better playmaker than either Hoffman and Vatrano, and even McGinn looked to pass more than someone like Vatrano.

The comeback for Trocheck was very tough to watch through, but that doesn’t mean he’s in trouble at not recovering.

Despite the lack of quantity in Trocheck’s goal scoring, the quality is still there. He’s managed to definitely pack more power behind his wrist and slap shots, like this power-play goal against Boston.

He takes the pass from Aaron Ekblad, a bit of a slower pass, has plenty of space to wind up and puts it exactly in the spot Jaroslav Halak can’t keep it out.

Even if it was a mere consolation goal in a bad loss for the Panthers, it’s good to have this kind of goal, especially when you’re struggling.

Trocheck, ever since joining the NHL, has shown a desire to improve year after year. Prior to this season, Trocheck had increased his point tallies with each passing campaign from his 8 points in 2013-14 all the way to 75 in 2017-18.

He’s not the player who’s going to dwell on last season’s shortcomings, he’s looking to improve, especially with new management.

The linemates Trocheck will be playing with next season is still a mystery, but if the Panthers do land Jackets star Artemi Panarin, it’ll be likely to see Trocheck playing with Jonathan Huberdeau again.

Joel Quenneville values line chemistry over top talent, hence why Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane rarely played together at even strength during JQ’s time in Chicago.

The lines could be Trocheck with Huberdeau on the left and Hoffman to the right, with a Panarin-Barkov-Dadonov top line.

This would benefit both Panarin, who has chemistry with Dadonov, and Trocheck, who would be playing next to someone who really helped him two seasons ago.

Next. Florida Require a Successful Vincent Trocheck. dark

For Trocheck, it’s going to be important to get in the mindset of not being discouraged. Last season needs to be a one-off for him, and everyone in the organization is positive in him returning to the level he was at prior to last season.