The Hershey Bears, have now made the Calder Cup Finals. after finishing off the Toronto Marlies on Sunday May 29. In honor of this accomplishment, it’s now time to highlight various players on the Hershey Bears. This particular profile highlights Jakub Vrana. Vrana, who is listed as a Left Winger but has also played Right Wing, was drafted by the Capitals in the first round of the 2015 draft, with the 13th pick overall.
Jakub was born on Feburary 28, 1996 in Praha (Prague), Czech Republic. He spent most of his first post-draft year (2014-15) with Linköping HC in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) but came over to play with the Bears when his season in Sweden had ended. Vrana played 3 games with the Bears and while he had no goals, he contributed 5 assists. Vrana also contributed during Hershey’s playoff run of last year, notching 2 goals and 4 assists in 10 games, including a goal in the Bears’ Round 1 series clinching win against the Worchester Sharks.
This year, Vrana spent the entire season in Hershey. This season he scored 16 goals and notched 18 assists for a total of 34 points in just 32 games for the regular season.
Vrana injured his wrist during practice in late October/early November which required surgery, keeping him out of the lineup until January 22nd. So far, during the playoffs, he has scored 7 goals and has 6 assists for a total of 13 points within 17 games.
In an interesting bit of trivia, Vrana’s surname means “crow” in the Czech language. As a result, he has garnered the nickname “Raven”.
Vrana left his native Czech Republic at 15 to play in Sweden because he liked the development program there. He has played internationally in numerous tournaments, including at the Under 16, the Under 17, the under 18, and the World Juniors Under 20.
Vrana has participated in the World Juniors three separate times. After coming to America, he has started to pronounce his first name in the American style; i.e. as “Jacob” instead of as “Yakub”.
By Diane Doyle