Rangers: Why Vincent Trocheck must remain the 2nd-line center

New York Rangers center Vincent Trocheck (16) in action during the game between the Dallas Stars and the New York Rangers at the American Airlines Center
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The start of the 2023-24 NHL season has been an outstanding success for the New York Rangers, as they currently rank among the top teams in the league. Despite star players Filip Chytil and Adam Fox being sidelined due to injuries, the team has adapted to these setbacks, with numerous players stepping up their performance. One standout player who has notably risen to the occasion is Vincent Trocheck.

Vincent Trocheck is rising to the occasion

Since Filip Chytil’s injury, Trocheck has gotten an opportunity and took advantage of it shining both on offense and defense for the Blueshirts. Trocheck was even on a point streak, having contributed in six consecutive games for the Rangers. This streak demonstrates his versatility and consistent performance, which have proven crucial in elevating the team’s gameplay. It ensures they maintain a competitive edge, even in the face of challenging circumstances.

Trocheck has played like a top-six player in the NHL and there’s a chance he could achieve career-best statistics with this team. With a substantial portion of the hockey season remaining, Trocheck’s exceptional performance has rightfully secured his place on the second line. The only circumstance where he should lose this role is if he encounters a slump similar to Mika Zibanejad’s struggles in November.

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Why Trocheck should stay on the Rangers’ second-line

When Chytil eventually returns, the Rangers should strongly consider keeping Trocheck on the second line. Trocheck’s role could become a permanent fixture, benefiting both the present and future of the team. Time will reveal the best course of action, but it would be in the Blueshirts’ best interest to maintain Trocheck’s position.

If Chytil does make a return, he’ll likely need time to readjust to the team’s dynamics and regain his prior form, given the rust accumulated from his time away. However, this return is uncertain, contingent upon his recovery progress. Irrespective of which side of the Chytil/Trocheck debate one is on, Trocheck’s presence on the second line should persist until there are visible indicators necessitating a change in the team’s line-up.