The New York Rangers have had to make adjustments to their lineup following an injury to second-line centerman Filip Chytil. Since Chytil was placed on the IR, Vincent Trocheck has returned to his familiar position on the Rangers’ second line.
In three games played as the 2C, Trocheck has already amassed six points. Chytil has not been bad by any means, but with Trocheck being one of the hottest Rangers since joining the top six, the question of what to do when Chytil returns is growing.
Trocheck provides more than just point production on the second line
The Rangers’ second line has been an offensive powerhouse this season. Artemi Panarin has scored in every single matchup, and Alexis Lafreniere is having the best season of his career. While both Chytil and Trocheck have the ability to contribute to this point production, Trocheck edges out Chytil in one major aspect.
So far this season, Trocheck is third in the NHL in face-off win percentage. His 62.9% success rate on the face-off dot blows Chytil out of the water, as the young center only sits at 43.3%. Face-offs lead to offensive possession, which then leads to scoring opportunities. By this singular stat alone, Trocheck could provide more to the second line than Chytil could with his poor performances at draws.
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Chytil doesn’t seem like a good fit on the Rangers’ new third line
Although Trocheck seems like the better choice to remain as the 2C, that would mean that Chytil is demoted back to the third line again. It would no longer be the original kid line, but somewhat of a sequel to it. Kaapo Kakko currently remains there following a recent line change, and Will Cuylle is taking the left-wing spot.
This Rangers’ third line is much different than what the Blueshirts are used to. What used to be a fast-paced, point-scoring depth line has evolved into a gritty, physical, hard-hitting line. This doesn’t exactly match Chytil’s skill set, but there’s always the chance he can adapt to his new environment.
Trocheck may seem like the obvious choice to take over on the second line, but it is essential to keep in mind the other facts that would be involved in that swap.