Panthers’ prospect Trocheck ready to ‘battle’ for NHL spot

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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.”