The Montreal Canadiens have several prospects at the forward positions that are
likely to be contributors at the NHL level. However, the prospect pool lacks a
forward with the potential to put up significant offensive numbers on a top line. In this year’s draft there is the possibility that just such a player
could be available when the Canadiens make their selection. That player, who
many have slated to go in the bottom third of the first round is Jakub Vrana.
Born: February 28, 1996 – Praha, Czech Republic
Height: 6’0” Weight: 181 lbs Shoots: Left
ISS Rank: 21 THN Rank: 19 McKeens Rank: 21
Vrana is known as a player with dynamic offensive skills. He is a strong skater
with good speed and agility along with elite acceleration. He is a slick stick
handler who can beat defenders one on one and he possesses a hard wrist shot
with a quick, accurate release as well as a dangerous one timer. Vrana is an
above average passer with good hockey IQ as well, although he is considered more
of a goal scorer than a playmaker.
While not an overly physical player, Vrana
does not seem intimidated on the ice, nor does he shy away from the tough areas.
Some on the knocks on Vrana are that his defensive game could be improved with
more consistent effort and attention to detail. Vrana will also need to add
muscle in order to make a greater impact in the NHL.
If Vrana is going to have a
significant career as a regular NHL’er it will almost surely be in a top-6 role
and potentially a top-3 forward should he realize his full potential. If
he can put it all together, he could be a steal for whoever calls out his name
on draft night.