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Fantasy Spin: Monitor Trocheck's availability

Panthers center could return in Game 5, affordable in DraftKings

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Florida Panthers center Vincent Trocheck was one of the fantasy breakout players of the regular season. Take full advantage of his discounted price if he returns from an ankle injury in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the New York Islanders at BB&T Center on Friday (8 p.m. ET, CNBC, SN, TVA Sports 2, SUN, MSG+).

Trocheck, priced at $5,300 in DraftKings, will be a game-time decision. If he plays, he's a DFS value pick at $200 below the price from March 29, his most recent game.

In the regular season Trocheck mostly played alongside Jussi Jokinen ($5,600) and Reilly Smith ($5,400) on Florida's second line, and set personal NHL career-highs with 25 goals, 28 assists, 13 power-play points and 174 shots on goal. Trocheck was one of Florida's NHL-leading six players with at least 50 points.

He had two points in three regular-season games against the Islanders and 31 points in 38 home games. He averaged 17:46 of ice time per game, and was fourth among Panthers forwards with 2:40 of power-play ice time per game. The Panthers' best puck-possession forwards in terms of shot-attempts percentage were Jokinen (53.47), Smith (52.13) and Trocheck (51.45).

Though the Panthers should benefit once Trocheck returns, Nick Bjugstad ($5,100 in DraftKings) could see a dip in daily fantasy value. Bjugstad is averaging 4.8 DraftKings points per game in the playoffs, much better than his season average (2.7). He could be bumped down in the lineup when Trocheck returns.

If Panthers coach Gerard Gallant keeps the current second line intact, Trocheck remains a viable option and an under-the-radar line stack with Teddy Purcell and/or Jiri Hudler.

Keep an eye on the situation leading up to Game 5, and consider inserting Trocheck into your lineup if he is confirmed to play.

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