Jakub Vrana Goes Unclaimed, Will Remain With Red Wings Organization

Former Washington Capitals forward Jakub Vrána was waived by the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday and went unclaimed by the 31 other teams by Wednesday’s 2:00PM deadline. As a result, Vrana will remain with the Red Wings organization and continue his conditioning assignment with the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL.

The 26-year-old played just 28 games over his first two full seasons with the Red Wings due to shoulder surgery prior to last season and entrance into the NHL/NHLPA’s player assistance program at the beginning of the 2022-23 season.

Vrana was reinstated by the NHL on December 16 and was assigned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins recently for a conditioning stint.

Vrana has played just 39 games since arriving at the trade deadline on April 12. 2021, in the deal that sent left-wing Anthony Mantha to Washington. However, over his short tenure in Detroit, Vrana has scored 22 goals with 32 points.

In 284 career games with the Capitals, Vrana recorded 76 goals, 157 points, and a +36 rating. He set career-highs in goals (25) and points (52) in 69 games during the 2019-20 season.

He had no points and a combined -8 rating in 15 Stanley Cup Playoff games over the last two seasons in Washington, when the Capitals were eliminated in the first round both times. He recorded three goals and eight points in 23 games during the 2018 tournament.

Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said he saw a “frustrated player” in Vrana in terms of his body language and the team wanted to move on from that. Head coach Peter Laviolette scratched Vrana twice before the Capitals traded him and never seemed to click with the young Czech after the team hired him.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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7 Responses to Jakub Vrana Goes Unclaimed, Will Remain With Red Wings Organization

  1. KimRB says:

    Hmmm. Not looking good for Jake.

    I’m not buying that deal about it just being for a conditioning stint. With the talent the kid has, I’d think someone would claim him, at half price. If he found his game again, a claiming team could trade him for more assets.

    I would hazard a guess that GMs know of his issues, and don’t want him.

  2. Lance says:

    Only 3 AHL games for Vrana this year but rough numbers: 0 goals, 0 assists, -5. That -5 is certainly troubling.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Abuse and addiction with legal substances were indicated prior to the the trade with the Wings—enjoyed partying. The “brewing” problem only got worse sitting out after shoulder surgery with Wings.

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