Washington Capitals Draft Jakub Vrana

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

With his first pick as general manager, Brian MacLellan selects... a wing?

With the 13th pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the Caps have selected Jakub Vrana.

Here's Corey Pronman on the newest Caps prospect:

13. Jakub Vrana | RW | Linkoping (SHL)
DOB: 2/28/96 | 2013-14 stats: 24 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 2 PIM

This is a pretty high ranking, but it's slightly lower than I expected I'd end up slotting Vrana earlier this season, as he looked like one of the greatest Czech prospects in recent memory. He's one of the few Czech players to ever play as an under-age player for their under-18 and under-20 teams, alongside Michael Frolik and Jiri Hudler. There's a reasonable best-case scenario with Vrana that he'll become a top-end winger and I'll end up cringing looking back at ranking him too low. Vrana is a shifty player, with very good speed and a nice first few steps. His defense could use work. He also can try to do too much and be selfish at times. The most troubling thing with Vrana is that his development seems to be flattening out, and a downward trend is always a red flag, so there's also a non-zero chance that he busts.

McKeen's (go buy their guide - it's great) ranks Vrana as the 21st prospect overall and notes:

Exploded in his third consecutive World U18 Championships leading the tournament in goal scoring (7-8-2-10) en route to Team Czech’s first ever silver medal performance .. struggled at times this year with Linkoping (SHL) to find sufficient ice time for development however he was a point a game player (24-14-11-25) for his Linkoping Junior team .. fast and powerful skater; cross-overs generate blinding speed which helps provide increasing acceleration with each step .. difficult to derail once he gets the edge to the outside as he can sustain his diagonal speed .. fast and opportunistic Vrana is a handful in 1 on 1 situations and is blessed with superb individual skills and strong in-tight puck control abilities .. boasts dynamic lateral agility executing high-skilled plays at top speed not unlike Nail Yakupov .. tries to go solo and do it all himself - overlooking passing opportunities, bull-headed in his resolve to create a shooting lane .. self-centered player who only uses his teammates when he wants or has to .. stops skating once he gets into spots that he thinks he should get the puck .. bad defensive work habits as well as he is not an enthusiastic back checker .. Vrana needs to work on rounding out his entire game to become a better pro prospect.

Speaking of in-depth, ISS breaks Vrana down (click to enlarge, and, again, go buy their guide - it's unreal):


More soon.

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