According to multiple reports, the Florida Panthers have signed center Vincent Trocheck to a six-year contract worth $28.5 million, for an average annual value of $4.75 million. He was a restricted free agent.
Trocheck is coming off a breakout season during which he recorded 53 points (25 goals, 28 assists) in 76 games. In 146 career NHL regular season games, the 22-year-old has accumulated 83 points (37 goals, 46 assists) and 74 penalty minutes.
The new deal maintains the Panthers’ enviable position of having young, talented depth down the middle, with 21-year-old Aleksander Barkov and 23-year-old Nick Bjugstad also vying for top-six minutes. Recently-acquired 20-year-old Jared McCann also projects as a potential scoring center down the road.
This move continues Florida’s busy off-season of acquiring and retaining roster players. In recent days, the club has locked up franchise defenseman Aaron Ekblad, signed veteran blueliners Keith Yandle and Jason Demers as well as goaltender James Reimer to long-term deals, traded for young defenseman Mark Pysyk and inked forwards Jonathan Marchessault and Colton Sceviour.
Before joining the Panthers on a full-time basis last season, Trocheck spent parts of two years (2013-14, 2014-15) with Florida’s AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, where in 78 regular season games, he recorded 61 points (24 goals, 37 assists) and 51 penalty minutes.
Prior to turning pro, the 5-foot-10, 182-pound Pittsburgh, Pa. native played four OHL seasons with the Saginaw Spirit (2009-13) and Plymouth Whalers (2013). In 264 OHL regular season games, he collected 299 points (120 goals, 179 assists) and 239 penalty minutes.
Trocheck was drafted by Florida in the third round (64th overall) in 2011.