Rangers veteran center the key to second-line’s success

New York Rangers center Vincent Trocheck (16) is led off the ice by linesman Libor Suchanek (60) after a roughing call against Trochek and New York Islanders defenseman Alexander Romanov (not pictured) during the third period of a Stadium Series ice hockey game at MetLife Stadium
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers‘ second line has easily been the most dominant in the offensive corps for the entire 2023-24 regular season thus far. It began with Artemi Panarin, Filip Chytil, and Alexis Lafreniere, but Vincent Trocheck took on the center role just 10 games into the year after Chytil went down with a season-ending injury.

Since joining the second line, Trocheck has had the best season of his entire career. He’s shown why the Blueshirts signed him for seven years, and he’s been earning every penny of what many considered to be an overpay at the time. When looking at the second line’s prosperity this year, it’s hard to deny that Trocheck has been a major key to its success.

Trocheck is having the best season of his career on the Rangers’ second-line

Trochek’s previous career high in points came during the 2017-18 season with the Florida Panthers, where he totaled 75 points. This year, with the veteran center having 55 points in 55 games played thus far, Trocheck is on pace to break that record by one point and finish the year off with 76.

One underrated statistic that Trocheck has thrived in this season is his face-off win percentage. In players that have taken over 700 faceoffs this season, he ranks first overall in the NHL. There are a handful of other players that have higher percentages than him, but none have entered the faceoff dot as many times as Trocheck.

Helping Panarin and Lafreniere thrive

Panarin and Lafreniere, Trocheck’s two linemates on the Rangers’ second line, are also having the best seasons of their careers. Panarin has looked like an entirely new player, and Lafreniere is finally beginning to break out offensively.

Neither player would be able to succeed as much as they have without Trocheck’s help. Panarin has had more freedom than ever before in his career with a defensively sound center, and Lafreniere has benefitted from a strategic offensive approach and more offensive zone time thanks to Trocheck’s play style and faceoff wins. If there’s one player that can be attributed to the Rangers’ second line’s success, it’s Vincent Trocheck.

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