Voracek confident he can be an elite player

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Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek set new career-highs in 2013-14 with 23 goals and 62 points in 82 games, but he doesn’t believe he’s peaked. He thinks he has an 80-point season in him and has been working all summer to prepare for that pursuit.

“The guys who work for it, usually make it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. “I was doing everything I could this summer to get to that next level. I changed my diet, which I never thought would have been possible two years ago, the way I love food. It’s not funny. I really sacrificed to be that player that people think I can be.”

His body fat is now in the single digits, making him a strong 204 pounds. In addition to getting in better shape, the 25-year-old forward has gained confidence in his abilities. He sees guys like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin produce points on their bad days and believes it’s that ability that separates the Art Ross Trophy candidates from the pack.

Increasing his point total isn’t Voracek’s biggest goal though, even if it is one of his desires. Rather than build his game around Crosby, Voracek sees two-time Selke Trophy winner Patrice Bergeron as his role model.

“I’d rather have 65 points and play for the Stanley Cup,” Voracek said. “You might miss 10-15 points because you over-forechecked or over-backchecked. You’ve got to play good defense and sometimes you miss those points. That is why Bergeron is so special. He is a good example. He puts up 65-70 points. The way he plays is incredible. He is more valuable than people realize. More valuable than those players scoring 75-80 points.

It seems appropriate then that Voracek’s first game of the season will be against Bergeron’s Boston Bruins (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).