21-Year-Old Right Wing – Washington Capitals
Jakub Vrana Contract Information:
Signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Capitals in July of 2014. The deal carries a cap hit of $925,000 per season.
Vrana opened training camp on a line with Nicklas Backstrom and Andre Burakovsky, Tarik El-Bashir of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports.
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Age is determined on October 1st of each season.No Yes
Jakub Vrana: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The 13th overall pick from the 2014 NHL Draft, Vrana was expected to take a major step forward in his development with the AHL's Hershey Bears. Those expectations appeared to be dashed when the Czech Republic native suffered a wrist injury early in the season that caused him to miss several weeks of action. Despite the setback, Vrana returned to action the same potent offensive player as before and finished the season with 16 goals and 34 points in 38 games. It was in the AHL Playoffs, however, that the talented winger demonstrated his true potential, as he led the Bears in playoff scoring with eight goals and 14 points in 21 games. With a terrific combination of speed and shooting prowess, Vrana is expected to be a key offensive producer for the Capitals in the future, but with a glut of talented players already in the top-six he will need a strong showing in training camp to make the roster for the start of the 2016-17 NHL season, and is likely to once again start the season in the minors.
Vrana is a speedy, shifty winger who knows how to snipe – he’s a natural goal scorer with good hockey sense. He spent last season playing with Linkoping in Sweden and delivered 12 goals and 12 assists in 44 games as a 19-year-old. Vrana hit North American ice right at the end of the season and immediately made a dent, totaling five assists in three regular-season games with Hershey, then two goals and four assists in 10 playoff games. He’ll start this season in the AHL unless he knocks the jocks off the Caps’ brass in training camp. That’s possible, but not very likely. A year or two in the A will help him learn to play tough along the wall, use his linemates and build some muscle. But it won’t take more than a few seasons for Vrana to ascend to a job in D.C. Dynasty-league owners should monitor his game or stash him if they have really deep rosters. Otherwise, play the waiting game.
A bit of a surprise selection for the Capitals in June’s draft, Vrana adds more top-flight offensive talent to an organization swimming with potential blue-chip point producers. A potential top-five selection heading into last season, Vrana was inconsistent during his regular season with Linkoping of the Swedish Elite League. However, Vrana turned heads at the IIHF Under-18 Championships, and his dominant performance was enough for the Capitals to take him with the 13th overall pick. Recently signed to a three-year extension by Linkoping, the Capitals appear content to let Vrana develop overseas in 2014-15, with the aim of getting him to North America in the next year or so. Possessing an NHL-caliber shot and Marian Gaborik-like upside, Vrana has all the tools to be an outstanding fantasy player once he’s further along in the development process.