Like many hockey players, Vincent Trocheck has always dreamt of one day stepping onto the ice to play for an NHL team. So much in fact that he has devoted his whole life to it.
Trocheck has not only been playing but watching and studying hockey for as long as he can remember. It has helped him build the determination and motivation that make him such a hard worker on the ice.
The five-foot-ten Pittsburgh, PA native is known to be a smart and strategic player with good energy. Those skills helped him get selected by the Panthers early in the third round (64th overall) at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
“It’s going great the two years that I have been here,” said Trocheck during Development Camp at the beginning of July. “Both development camps have been a lot of fun and there is a great group of guys here.”
Trocheck set off to pursue his hockey career when he moved from Pittsburgh to Detroit at the age of 13. From there he was picked up by the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit. Whether or not he would have made it if he had stayed in Pittsburgh was unknown, but it was a chance he had to take.
“When I moved I had a lot of fun in Detroit” said Trocheck. “I thought I developed a lot so I don’t regret any of it.”
Trocheck, who had 85 points in 65 regular season games with the Spirit in 2011-2012 and 11 points in 12 playoff games, has always been in love with the game.
“Hockey IQ is my main asset, my smarts and my hands. I think that comes back to when I was growing up,” said Trocheck.
Trocheck’s father, Vince Trocheck, was an outstanding high school and college baseball player who once thought that his son would follow in his footsteps.
“He would give me baseball bats and stuff like that” said Trocheck. “Then he figured after I started playing hockey with the bat that it was time.”
Nevertheless his family has been his biggest support system and his father never misses a game.
The transition from minors to the OHL was definitely an adjustment for Trocheck but ultimately geared him up for a higher level of competition.
“There were plenty of older guys that were faster and stronger,” said Trocheck.
Getting used to their style of play took some time but Trocheck is not a stranger to working hard. His 23 point increase from his draft year to this past season can attest to that.
“They (OHL) try to mirror as much off of the NHL as they can with the schedule and the traveling,” said the center. “I think it definitely helped me out to get adjusted.”
Trocheck’s journey to becoming a professional hockey player has been challenging and rewarding. It has led him to the Panthers and he couldn’t be happier.
“Looks like we have a really great future, the papers show that we are the number one future NHL team with all of our prospects” said Trocheck. “I’m looking forward to long years here.”