Even with T.J. Oshie on the mend, the Washington Capitals boast a bountiful array of prime-age scorers. Imagine if Jakub Vrana becomes the latest quick study of the 2016-17 season.
Russian Machine Never Breaks captured the reaction of many prospect-minded Caps fans when news surfaced that Vrana was recalled along with Paul Carey: “finally.”
That’s not to say that it’s been a slow development from the 13th pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, being that he’s only 20.
Still, you look at these AHL stats and he’s distinguished hismelf in almost every situation (even in limited duty, all stats with the Hershey Bears):
2014-15: five points in three regular season games, six in 10 playoffs
2015-16: 34 in 36 regular season games, 14 in 21 playoffs
2016-17: 16 in 18 games
Those are the type of numbers that often translate quite nicely to the NHL. As just a quick example, 2016-17 sensation Jonathan Marchessault quietly put up very nice AHL numbers before running with his best chance at the NHL level with the Florida Panthers.
This isn’t to say that Vrana is going to be a smash success right away, especially since Barry Trotz has, at times, been reluctant to throw rookies in the deep end off the bat.
Still, there’s a very reasonable chance he could make an impact, and that’s a pretty exciting development for a Capitals team that’s already loaded.
Zach Sanford was the Capitals player demoted to Hershey to make room for Vrana and Carey.