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With Confidence And Competitiveness, Two Early Season Surprises Arise

by Randy Moller / Florida Panthers

While the Florida Panthers seek consistency, chemistry, and wins, a couple of early season surprises from inside the organization need mentioning.

Down in San Antonio, the Cat’s AHL farm team, first year pro Vincent Trocheck has caught the eye of everyone. Off one of the most successful Canadian junior careers topped off by last year’s 50 goals and OHL league MVP season, Trocheck continues to impress. The Pittsburgh, PA native and third round draft pick (64th overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft has recorded five goals and 11 points through the Rampage’s first nine games.

The smallish forward (5'11, 180 lbs) could be up to the big club before Mrs Moller picks out the Thanksgiving turkey. Highly competitive, Vinnie the “points machine” Trocheck has to be the Panther’s #1 prospect not in the NHL.

In Florida, Panther’s forward Jesse Winchester was considered just another “filler” in training camp, likely headed to Texas to lead the young prospects in San Antonio this year.  After four up and down seasons in Ottawa, a suffered concussion, and last year bouncing around Finland like a lost reindeer, Winchester showed up in South Florida in early in September, determined to make the team. The Colgate University grad spent his 30th birthday early (born a day later) October 3rd celebrating the Panthers opening night win in Dallas.

Fast forward to early November, and lo and behold, Jesse “The Bandit”, is tied for second on the team with 3 goals, is fifth with 27 shots, and one of  Coach Dineen’s most trusted penalty killer and defensive forward.

Confidence and competitiveness, Trocheck and Winchester, two reasons why we “the fans” root for all sports individuals, not just the stars.

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