2014 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #20 - Jakub Vrana
Next up is the smooth-skating playmaker Jakub Vrana from the Czech Republic via the SHL.
Current Team: Linköping (SHL)
Date of Birth: February 28, 1996
Place of Birth: Praha, Czech Republic
Weight: 185 lbs
After getting a cup of coffee in the highest-level Swedish Hockey League last year, Jakub Vrana split his season between the two highest levels of Swedish hockey, and while he was a point-per-game guy in the SuperElit, the numbers didn't follow him to the highest level. That's OK. That's a man's league. Even still, Vrana finished the year as the fourth-ranked European skater in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings.
Vrana has battled some inconsistency in his young career, but he is a solid skater who has very good offensive instincts, positional awareness in the offensive zone, is a solid passer, and has a knack for finding space. He's not yet known for playing much of a defensive game, but he does have some great offensive assets.
Vrana projects into the top six in the NHL, but probably not as a goal-scorer and instead as more of a playmaker. That said, his lack of solid defense--at the moment, at least--limits his ability to play a good two-way game.
Vrana is a strong skater with a good first step and lateral quickness. He handles the puck with confident and creative hands. A good wrist shot with a deceptive release help him offensively, as does his natural vision and passing ability. - Future Considerations
Once ranked fairly high, Vrana has experienced some bouts of inconsistency in his game and has yet to really develop the defensive awareness that scouts were hoping for. That aside, Vrana is an imaginative passer with above-average puck skills and his knack for cashing in on loose pucks in the scoring area doesn’t go unnoticed. His arsenal features a quick accurate release that can fool opposing goaltenders and his ability to find the scoring areas cannot be taught. - Brendan Ross - Dobber Prospects
A Good Fit in Columbus?
I'm not sure. He isn't known as a pure scorer, but plays on the right wing where the Jackets need help long-term. He's a good skater (plus) who has good vision (plus) and great offensive awareness (plus) to go with good passing skills (plus). That said, he's not known for much in the way of defense (minus), and the Jackets need scorers more than they need playmakers right now (minus). He'll also need to get bigger and stronger.
Vrana in Action