Jakub Vrana’s Playoff Performance A Promising Indicator of His Potential

Playoffs_So_Many_Rookies_Hockey_98136-727x462Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Entering the 2017-18 season, one of the question marks for the Capitals was how the multiple rookies on the Opening Night roster would fare over the course of the season. One of the several rookies who have played the entire season with the club is the team’s former first-round draft pick (13th overall in 2014) Jakub Vrana. And after a promising rookie season, Vrana’s performance in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs has put his potential in the spotlight.

In 73 regular season games played, Vrana scored 13 goals and added 14 assists for a respectable 27 points, with a plus-2 rating. But it has been Vrana’s showing in the Capitals’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals that has given fans (and the team) an insight into the explosive offensive player Vrana can be. In 14 games played, Vrana has scored twice and added four assists for a respectable six points, all while averaging 11:07 of ice time a game. While six points isn’t eye-popping, Vrana has two game-winning goals for the Capitals and is tied for 10th on the team in postseason scoring. His two game-winning goals ties him for the team lead with center Lars Eller, and his 11:07 of ice time ranks 19th among skaters.

But what has truly been promising about Vrana’s postseason performance has been his utilization of his speed and creativity while in possession of the puck. There have been numerous times throughout the Caps’ playoff run that Vrana has found himself behind the opposition’s defense or creating an odd-man rush for his team. While the offensive totals don’t reflect it, Vrana’s hockey sense is also impressive for a player playing in his first playoff season. Still just 22-years old, Vrana has not yet reached the prime of his NHL career, and given how well he has played this spring, that means nothing but good things for the Capitals moving forward. Along with the team’s other young players, Vrana could form the next wave of superstars in Red, White, and Blue.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first and only Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography and reading in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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3 Responses to Jakub Vrana’s Playoff Performance A Promising Indicator of His Potential

  1. We’ve known this about Jakub for quite a while now. His often intimidating combination of speed and skill have always suggested to me and others that he deserves (much) more PT to develop than BT deigns to give him…He has considerable upside and I hope he’ll get a fuller chance to display it next season…

    Out,

    Clifford

    Like

  2. redLitYogi says:

    agreed. I was hoping Trotz & co would let him play with Kuznetsov and Ovechkin if we needed a goal – he was dynamite with them in game 5. But they are loathe to make those kinds of changes. Vrana is not yet Patrick Kane and probably never will be as dominant, but he does apparently have outstanding on-ice vision – he sees the plays develop. he could be very, very good.

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  3. Jerry Levine says:

    Vrana has played well and deserves more ice time next year. Burakovsky though not a rookie needs to be traded. His no look pass that cost the Caps a goal last night might have turned that game around in favor of the Lightening. In addition, for someone who is 201 lbs. he is on his backside every time he is in a scrum along the boards. He has speed and a good shot but has been less than a significant asset over the years.

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