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Welcome to the Flyers: Jakub Voracek

I wont be wasting anyone’s time bashing the on-again, off-again play of Jakub Voracek throughout his career. The Flyers have done a good job in recent years of getting players in situations where they have a lot to prove, and its worked out quite well for them. They find themselves in a similar position with Voracek, and there is ample reason to be optimistic about his upcoming season.

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Voracek and Jagr were all smiles at the World Championships


One of the biggest reasons for optimism happens to be the most obvious: he’s not in Columbus anymore. He’s playing in a city where he can really showcase his talents while not having to be relied on as crucial building block to the organization like he was with the Blue Jackets (at least not yet, as indicative of his contract). He’s no longer touted as the show, just another important act in one of the hottest plays on ice.

Whether true or not, if you’re under the impression that Voracek is in it for the money, you can take comfort in the fact that he will be playing for his own financial benefit after signing a one-year deal this past month. If he wants to get paid, he’s going to have to earn it. He is beginning to reach the point in his career where he can no longer be paid on potential alone; success on the ice is becoming one of his only options. Ville Leino followed a similar path, outperforming his contract and earning big money from Buffalo, and Voracek has the talent to follow his footsteps to financial success if that is what he desires.

Want another reason for the young Czech to want to perform? How does playing with your childhood idol sound?

Voracek came up through the ranks in the HC Kladno hockey club, the same alma mater of the infamous-and-now-current Flyer Jaromir Jagr. He grew up idolizing Jagr, and had this to say in a recent article on NHL.com when discussing the topic:

“I was excited when I found out (June 23) that I was coming to Philadelphia… Now to have Jagr come to play here, too, is amazing. It almost doesn’t feel real right now.”

—Jakub Voracek


What about the notion of him underperforming last season? Even if his 50 points does leave some to be desired, it still directly replaces the production of Leino and firmly cements Voracek in the top-6 while leaving plenty of room for improvement. He becomes a big body on the wing that the Flyers have been starving for since losing Mike Knuble, but comes equipped with considerably more skill and precision.

Don’t fancy him to be a hard worker? Lets take a look at some of his scouting reports:

“A right winger who reads the game well and has a good shot. A very good and explosive skater. Likes to share the puck. Voracek is good defensively and has a good work ethic. Not very physical.”

Elite Prospects

“Voracek is an explosive skater, with dynamic offensive ability.  He is extremely strong on the puck and has great vision.  He has a very good shot, but prefers the role of a setting up his line mates.  An outstanding puck distributor, Voracek sees the ice very well and passes the puck to an open man with an incredible speed and accuracy.  Has a very strong defensive presence as well.  Is very close to the full package, and has the work ethic and joy of the game to continue improving .”

Hockey’s Future


Regardless of the reasons, the slate has been wiped clean for Voracek. Looking to take his game to the next level, the man many associate with questionable conditioning habits has already been working out for over a month in preparation of the upcoming season.

“I needed to work on everything. Have to get faster, have to get stronger, everything. I’m working on a lot of things right now and it’s going to be a hard summer. I have to get better at every part of my game.”

Jakub Voracek


When you consider all the factors, you begin to paint the picture of what could be a big year for the young Czech amidst a blank canvas of expectations. He will get an opportunity to fight for both the cup and a contract while wearing the jersey of a team who regularly fills buildings beyond capacity. He also gets the chance to play alongside a childhood idol and get back to some of the more enjoyable aspects of hockey that made him so successful in the past. It will be up to Voracek to take advantage of the situation being presented to him.

Continue the discussion with me on twitter (@marcs797), email (theobbreakdown@gmail.com), or in the comments below



Lets Go Flyers!

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Marc Siciliano, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jakub+voracek

Comments

Avatar

If the season were to start today, what line would you peg him on.  Briere-Hartnell or Giroux-JVR?

Posted by Vindisi on 08/01/11 at 02:55 PM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar

If the season were to start today, what line would you peg him on.  Briere-Hartnell or Giroux-JVR?

Good question. It’s really tough to say since both him and Jagr haven’t seen the ice with the O&B, and they’ll be the two guys that you’d interchange on those lines.

I’d probably give Voracek - Giroux - JVR a look first in an attempt to get the young guys to gel, but that could change if chemistry is shown in a different set-up (we all know how much Lavi loves chemistry)

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 08/01/11 at 03:01 PM ET

Zaze's avatar

Watching him play live here in c-bus while we had season tix the past couple years we were lucky enough to see him pull off some spectacular jagr-esque moves in practice and games.  Great pick up by philly.

Posted by Zaze on 08/01/11 at 03:44 PM ET

Nicholas Lorenzi's avatar

Voracek is going to be one hell of a player when he matures. I was very torn when he went since Carter was sent over here in the trade. My friends and I were on the brink of getting a Jakub jersey that season, now I’m glad I decided against it. It is incredible that he’ll be playing with his Czech idol Jagr. I really hope he gives you some spectacular games just not against the Jackets in November.

Posted by Nicholas Lorenzi on 08/01/11 at 05:27 PM ET

Curley's avatar

At this point in his career most of his passes go to the other team especially at the offensive end.  He doesn’t think the game well yet and doesn’t look to score enough.  He has talent and a fine future, however.  Just don’t get ahead of yourselves with expectations, Philly fans. He’s still a couple of years away.  A real popular player in C-Bus and well known in the bars like Carter and Richards….........He’ll be missed.

Posted by Curley on 08/01/11 at 09:22 PM ET

petshark's avatar

Thanks for the breakdown.  Should be interesting to watch him find his footing at the career crossroads.

Posted by petshark from Nor Cal, and on Twitter @petshark47 on 08/01/11 at 11:45 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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