If the Florida Panthers are selling, the New York Islanders should be buying. Earlier today, the Panthers sent forward Denis Maglin to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for prospect forward Mason Marchment. The Panthers only sit out of playoff position by four points, but with their recent 3-6-1 stretch, general manager Dale Tallon might be looking to bolster the teams draft picks with a talented group of players coming in this years NHL draft.
Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck’s name has been floating about on the rumor mill, and a player like him could slot into the Isles lineup swimmingly. Trocheck checks off plenty of boxes, if not all the boxes of Islanders needs. At the center position, the Pittsburgh native would solidify a forward group, that allows other forwards to slot in where they belong. Derick Brassard has found more success playing on Brock Nelson’s wing, as opposed to his time as a third line center, and the Islanders third line has changed almost on a nightly basis. The acquisition would solidify consistency on that third line, and allow players to build some chemistry, whether it be Josh Bailey, Micahel Dal Colle, or Kieffer Bellows on the wings.
Trocheck also comes on a team friendly deal with term. According to CapFriendly.com, his current contract is structured as a $4,750,000 AAV for the next two seasons. Thats an excellent price for a former 30 goal, 75 point player. It’s true that there has been regression since the 2017-18 season where Trocheck put up those kinds of numbers, however last season ended early due to injury, and the Panthers have had a hard time playing consistent hockey this season.
Take note of that little move to set this one up from Vincent Trocheck. 📝 pic.twitter.com/hWYXzceZwN
— NHL (@NHL) January 3, 2020
Trocheck has smooth hands, and has the ability to tack on 30 assists like he has in the past, and theres no question he could return to the 25-30 goal range. He might find it easier to do so with some consistent line-mates on the Islanders. A third line role behind Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson, rather than the second line role he is currently in with the Panthers could give him a matchup advantage, skating against opposing teams third lines. In addition, the centerman has found plenty of success in the face-off circle, having a career 51.2 win percentage on the face-off dot. Excluding Casey Cizikas, face-off wins is something the Islanders lack in the circle.
In a down year, Trocheck has only accrued five points on the power-play. However, he is on the Panthers second unit that doesn’t feature players like Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Mike Hoffman. Jordan Eberle hasn’t exactly lit the lamp so much this year, therefore this acquisition could boost the power-play simply by shuffling the lines around a little bit. Shifting Eberle to the second unit could gives the Islanders the opportunity to roll out four forwards and one defenseman, much like the first power-play unit looks, and Trocheck will be working with more fire power than his current situation.
The Islanders aren’t exactly the youngest team in the NHL, but Trocheck is only at age 26, and by the time he would need a new contract he would be going into his age 29 season. It would be up to general manager Lou Lamoriello and company if they would like for Trocheck to return, but he would be in the same age range as current players Ryan Pulock, Devon Toews and Nelson.
What would a player like Trocheck cost? Likely the Islanders first round pick this year, possibly a later pick in addition, as well as a mid to high level prospect. The Panthers don’t currently have a high-end defensive prospect in the system, so a name such as Bode Wilde may intrigue Tallon. Add on this years first round pick, and throw in this years fourth if you have to. It’s worth the price to pay since Trocheck comes with team friendly term.
To Florida Panthers:
D Bode Wilde
2020 First Round Pick
2020 Fourth Round Pick
To New York Islanders:
F Vincent Trocheck
Islanders Lines with Trocheck:
Lee – Barzal – Eberle
Beauvillier – Nelson – Bailey
Bellows – Trocheck – Brassard/Dal Colle
Martin – Cizikas/Komarov – Johnston/Clutterbuck