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2019-20 Rink Wrap: Jakub Vrana

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From Backstrom to Wilson, we’re taking a look at and grading the 2019-20 season for every player who laced ‘em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2020-21. Next up, Jakub Vrana.

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Regular Season:

Playoffs:

Key Stat: Jakub Vrana potted even strength goals at a rate of 1.55 goals per 60 minutes of ice time, which was the fourth highest rate among skaters who played meaningful minutes. The only guys ahead of him? Dominik Kubalik, Alex Ovechkin, and Auston Matthews — pretty good company to keep when you fancy yourself an offensive weapon.

The Good: Well, the stat we just relayed to you is certainly a part of “the good”, and it contributed to Vrana setting new career-bests in goals (25), assists (27), and points (52), despite playing in only 69 games due to the shortened season. This production means that the promising trend of Vrana improving his numbers in all of these productivity statistics in each of his first four seasons in the NHL. It also bears noting that 22 of Vrana’s 25 goals were scored at 5v5, which again ties his output from last season’s 82-game effort. Those 22 goals were good enough for the sixth highest mark in the league, and four of the five guys above him saw significantly more ice time. We know the upside Vrana has, and he’s shown us that he can hang with some of the most decorated goal-slingers in the game. At least during the regular season he can, which brings us to “the bad”...

The Bad: A little over two years ago, Jakub Vrana streaked down the ice, puck on his stick, opponents in his dust, and picked the corner over Marc-Andre Fleury’s glove to open the scoring in what would be a Cup-winning game. That was the last playoff point Jakub Vrana has scored, despite playing in fifteen playoff tilts in the time since. While it’s not a perfect comparison because those fifteen playoff games were not played consecutively, it’s still noteworthy that Vrana has never had a stretch of fifteen games without a point during the regular season. You don’t win in the playoffs without your gunslingers making some hay, and right now Vrana has a reputation for coming up small in big moments that’s evocative of some of the hackneyed narrative surrounding Caps’ playoff performances of years past.
The Video:

The Charts:

The Discussion: Next year is a contract year for Vrana. Has he done enough to demonstrate that he should be a centerpiece to build around for competitive Caps teams of the future, or have his postseason disappearing acts made him too untrustworthy a support beam? Can Vrana be a marquee NHL sniper, or will he hit his ceiling in middle-six minutes? Finally, what would it take for you to give Vrana a 10 next season?

Other Vrana Season Reviews: Coming soon!

The Vote: Rate Vrana below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.

Poll

How would you rate Jakub Vrana’s 2019-20 season?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    10
    (3 votes)
  • 5%
    9
    (5 votes)
  • 16%
    8
    (14 votes)
  • 28%
    7
    (24 votes)
  • 22%
    6
    (19 votes)
  • 15%
    5
    (13 votes)
  • 4%
    4
    (4 votes)
  • 2%
    3
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    2
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    1
    (0 votes)
84 votes total Vote Now