Florida Panthers

Panthers lock up Vincent Trocheck, add Jason Demers for defense

Back from injury, Florida Panthers center Vincent Trocheck (21) in the first period as the Panthers host the New York Islanders for game 5 of the playoffs at the BB&T Center on Friday, April 22, 2016.
Back from injury, Florida Panthers center Vincent Trocheck (21) in the first period as the Panthers host the New York Islanders for game 5 of the playoffs at the BB&T Center on Friday, April 22, 2016. adiaz@miamiherald.com

The Panthers’ busy offseason continued Saturday as Florida not only signed defenseman Jason Demers to a five-year deal, but locked in center Vincent Trocheck with a six-year contract as well.

Demers, who spent the past two seasons with Dallas after six in San Jose, is expected to fill a top-four spot and nicely replaces Dmitry Kulikov after the Panthers traded him to Buffalo last weekend.

“I always liked the [Panthers] team, their young core after playing against them the past few seasons,” said Demers, whose deal is worth $22.5 million.

“I like where they’re headed and it seems like a good fit. … It was kind of a no-brainer for me. I wanted to go where we had a chance to win. I’m super excited to move forward with this.”

Trocheck, 22, had a breakout season for the Panthers last year as the Pittsburgh native centered Florida’s second line for much of the second half and scored a career-high 25 goals despite missing the final six games.

With Trocheck — who will be paid $4.75 million over the next six seasons — in the fold, the Panthers have locked up a good chunk of their young core.

Bjugstad and Sasha Barkov signed six-year deals with the Panthers over the past two years, and defenseman Aaron Ekblad got an eight-year contract Friday.

  Comments