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2011 NHL Draft
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Trocheck developing into top prospect with Saginaw

Saturday, 06.25.2011 / 12:48 PM ET / 2011 NHL Draft
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Trocheck developing into top prospect with Saginaw
Like most fathers, Vince Trocheck hoped his son could follow in his athletic footsteps. Vince was a prolific high school and college baseball player who played a little minor-league ball, and when his son Vincent was born, he of course put a bat in his hands as soon as possible.

However, when Vincent started swinging the bat like a hockey stick, father knew son likely would be taking his athletic gifts in a different direction.

For Vincent Trocheck, that's been to the ice -- and it certainly looks like he'll be more successful there than on a baseball diamond.

A 5-foot-10, 184-pound center, Trocheck is No. 42 on NHL Central Scouting's mid-term rankings of the top North American skaters available for the 2011 Entry Draft. In his second season with the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League, Trocheck has 22 goals and 34 assists in 62 games.

"Vince has a lot of grit in his game," Central Scouting's Chris Edwards told NHL.com. "He's willing to battle and come out with the puck. Very good passing ability. Vince is smart, he gets himself into good shooting position on the power play and gets off one-timers. He plays a steady, two-way game and plays with good energy."

Finding that energy level early in his OHL tenure wasn't easy for Trocheck. He played for the Detroit Little Caesars hockey program prior to jumping to Saginaw last season. Not the biggest skater on the ice, Trocheck said it took him time to adjust to the level of competition.

"The biggest transition was the speed of the game and physicality," he told NHL.com. "I played midget major in Detroit with the Detroit Little Caesars, and then I went right to Saginaw and the physicality and the speed was a lot to adjust to, but after the first half of the year I adjusted pretty well."

The numbers bear that out, as he had 4 goals and 20 points in his final 32 games to finish with a solid 15 goals and 43 points in 68 games, and then had 2 goals and 4 points in six playoff games.

Saginaw coach Todd Watson had no complaints about Trocheck's first OHL season.

"I don't think there was much (adjustment) with him," Watson told NHL.com. "With most players there is, but with Vinny, he killed penalties his first year, he played power play his first year, he played all situations in his first year. The adjustment was minimal."

He's taken that same talent level and gotten even better this season.

"He's become more dominant this year than last year," Watson said. "This year he's a player that's playing in all situations and being dominant in those areas. … He's our first line centerman, power play, penalty kill, 4-on-4, 6-on-5, 5-on-6 -- every situation, he plays in."

Trocheck's journey to that level started when he was 13 and decided to leave his family in Pittsburgh to move to Detroit. It is not easy living on your own as a teenager, but Trocheck had a goal in mind and this was the first step.

It was playing in Detroit that he caught the eye of Ontario Hockey League scouts, including Watson's. The Spirit chose him in the second round of the 2009 OHL draft, and Watson said he didn't have to do much selling to get Trocheck to sign on.

"Vinny wanted to be a pro and he's one of the most determined players I've ever coached," Watson said. "He wants to be an NHL player one day and he knows this is the best way to get there."

Trocheck said one visit to Saginaw during the 2009 OHL playoffs sold him.

"My first visit to Saginaw was a first-round playoff game, they played the Guelph Storm and the atmosphere was fantastic," Trocheck said. "There was a lot of fans, the game went double overtime and Saginaw won it, and right then I knew I wanted to play in the OHL because of the atmosphere."

The relationship has been a great one, and it's been made even better by Trocheck's family. While his mother and younger sister have remained in the Pittsburgh area, Vince Sr. has moved to Saginaw and taken a job selling satellite dishes in the Detroit area. It's put a strain on the family, but it's worked out well for Vincent. He and his father share an apartment in town.

"They sacrifice a lot," Watson said. "I think they're a close family. They support the heck out of him."

Part of that support has come in helping Vincent deal with the expectations and stress that come with a player's Entry Draft season. Vincent said having his father around helps keep things in the proper perspective.

"My agent and my dad are always there after games, even if I play bad," he said. "The good thing about the OHL is it's a professional-type of schedule, so you have one game one day and the next day another. If you have one bad game, the next day you have to play harder."

He's also learning that he only can control his own game, which makes it easier to block out who might be in the stands.

"It (the draft) is in the back of your mind at all times," Trocheck said, "but whenever you're out on the ice you're not worried about that. You're worried playing your own game and helping your team win.

"I really try not to think about it. The pressure might help a little bit because there's always that little push in your back trying to get you to play a little harder because you know there's somebody watching."

What scouts are seeing when they watch Trocheck is a pretty good all-round player with what appears to be a very solid future.

"He's determined to make it," Watson said. "When you get a kid that's that focused, he's devoted his whole life to it. … You hear kids say they love hockey, say they want to be a pro. This kid means it."

Author: Adam Kimelman | NHL.com Staff Writer




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01

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