Hurricanes acquire Trocheck from Panthers for Haula, Wallmark, prospects

Carolina lands a much-needed right-handed center in a blockbuster trade deadline deal

The Carolina Hurricanes acquired center Vincent Trocheck from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Erik haula, Lucas Wallmark and prospects Eetu Luostarinen and Chase Priskie. (Mark J. Terrill / AP Photo)

RALEIGH — The Carolina Hurricanes made a big move on trade deadline day, trading for Panthers center Vincent Trocheckin exchange for centers Erik Haula and Lucas Wallmark along with prospects Chase Priskie and Eetu Luostarinen.

The 26-year-old Trocheck, who had 31 goals and 75 points in 2017-18 and has 10 goals and 26 assists through 55 games this season, will cost $4.75 million against the salary cap and is signed through the 2021-22 season.

Haula, 28, has been in trade rumors for the past month and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Haula cooled down after a hot start to the season and had 12 goals and 10 assists in 41 games.

Wallmark, a fourth round pick of the Hurricanes in 2014, has mostly been a fourth line center for Carolina the last two seasons. He has 22 goals and 32 assists in 160 career NHL games, including 11 goals and 12 assists this season.

The Hurricanes signed defenseman Chase Priskie this offseason after the Capitals draft pick chose not to sign with Washington and became a free agent. Carolina acquired another defenseman, Joey Keane, in a trade with the Rangers involving Julien Gauthier last week, making the fellow right-handed defenseman expendable. Priskie, 23, had six goals and 25 assists in 52 games this season with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers.

Luostarinen, 21, was a second round pick of the Hurricanes in 2017 and had eight goals and 17 assists in 44 games with the Checkers this season. He played eight games with the Hurricanes, registering one assist, all in his first professional season in North America.

The addition of Trocheck should solidify the Hurricanes down the middle for the next few seasons. Trocheck averaged more than 20 minutes a night in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, but his ice time was down to 16:52 this year. He has played both on the power play and penalty kill, though he hasn’t been used frequently this season in shorthanded situations.

He also gives Carolina a much-needed right-handed center and will allow the team to either keep rookie Martin Necas on the right wing long-term or more slowly ease him into playing center. Necas and Justin Williams have been Carolina’s only right-handed forwards for much of this season.

Trocheck, who was born in Pittsburgh played part of his final season with the Plymouth Whalers, the now-defunct Ontario Hockey League team that was owner by former Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. He played with goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, who was recalled Sunday along with Anton Forsberg after both Petr Mrazek and James Reimer were injured in the team’s game in Toronto, leading to the incredible David Ayres situation.