On his first day with his new team after being acquired in a trade along with Richard Panik, a first-round pick in 2021, and a second-round pick in 2022 from the Washington Capitals on Monday, Detroit Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana said “I was kind of shocked but at the same time. It’s a great opportunity I’m looking forward to. … It’s business. It’s hockey. … I’m excited to join this group and do some big things.”
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) April 14, 2021
When asked about his new team, the 25-year-old said “They have a great, talented team here with [the] potential to do something special in the future. I look forward to doing something in here.”
Vrana told the Detroit media that he is a strong skater and has got speed, a good shot, can create offense and momentum, and help the team with important moments on the ice. He said that he “hope[s] to get some chemistry with the guys right here and learn the system” and will try to fit in as quickly as possible.
“I hope I can prove my potential and what I can do out there and use it as much as I can,” Vrana said.
Vrana has played with Red Wings defenseman Christian Djoos in Washington and with the AHL’s Hershey Bears and other Red Wings at the under-18 World Junior Championship before.
Vrana described the moment that Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman called him after the trade as “fresh. Obviously, this is a great historical club. It’s an honor to put this jersey on. … I was shocked at the time but really excited,” he explained. Vrana feels like he is being trusted and believed in by the organization. He was excited that it sounds like the Red Wings will give him more chances to play.
“I’m really excited to show what I can do, to prove myself, and help this team do something,” he told the media.
Vrana said that he is not staying with good friend and Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek. Vrana called him “a good kid, a nice guy” who called Vrana right after the trade. He said that it was “really nice” to meet everyone and get a warm welcome in Detroit.
Vrana told the media that Capitals GM Brian MacLellan called him to inform him of the trade after he got a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
He said that “it was mixed emotions” leaving the Capitals organization after being drafted, having a relationship with the city, and building friendships on the team. Though, he acknowledged that “When someone gives you a chance and wants you in their organization, it gives me excitement to come in here and help this group do something special.”
When asked about MacLellan’s comments on him from Monday, “There’s been something going on but I don’t really know what happened.” He added that he does not want to worry about it and just play hockey. “Let’s just move on and move forward,” he concluded.
Vrana could make his Red Wings debut on Thursday when the team hosts the Chicago Blackhawks at Little Caesars Arena.
By Harrison Brown