Vincent Trocheck had his way in the Ontario Hockey League last season, and now he’s looking to earn a spot on the Florida Panthers.
Trocheck scored 50 goals and had 109 points in 63 regular season games split between the Saginaw Spirit and Plymouth Whalers. Could the 20-year-old center – Florida’s third-round pick, 64th overall, in the 2011 NHL Draft – be in line for steady work in the NHL when the Panthers open the regular season?
The Panthers finished the 2013 season with the worst record (15-27-6) in the league and appear positioned to give their young prospects – including almost a half-dozen recent first-round picks – a chance to make the big club.
“I’m definitely coming in here trying to make this team,” Trocheck told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “It’s going to be a battle.
“All they’re telling us is to come here and expect to make the team. What else can a guy in our position do, you come here, work hard to try to make the team. If you do, great, if not, you keep working until you do.”
Mike Weaver has retired. The 37-year-old defenseman made the announcement today via the NHLPA.
“What an enjoyable experience to do something you love for 11 years in the NHL and 15 years in professional hockey,” said Weaver in a release. “I could never have imagined this. Hockey is more than just a game to me. Thanks to the Atlanta Thrashers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and the Montreal Canadiens.
“I would also like to thank the fans who brought the energy and excitement every night to the arenas. When the game starts, your teammates are who you trust, rely on and respect the most. Thank you to all my teammates for all the memories that will last a lifetime.”
Undrafted out of Michigan State, Weaver ended up playing 633 games in the NHL, plus 28 more in the playoffs.
Dylan Larkin — despite being just 19 years old — will begin the season on the Detroit Red Wings, a team not normally accustomed to having teenagers in the lineup.
Coach Jeff Blashill confirmed the news this morning. Larkin could apparently start on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.
Larkin, the 15th overall pick in the 2014 draft, had three goals and one assist in five preseason games. A natural center, he’s shown the potential to one day step into the kind of “big-time” role that Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have played for so long in Detroit.
“You have to give our scouts credit,” former coach Mike Babcock told ESPN in May. “We got a great pick where we picked. How high end is he? How soon?”
Related: Coaching change ‘one of the reasons’ Larkin signed with Wings