Red Wings Role Call is assessing every player who held a significant place in the fortunes of the 2021-22 Detroit Red Wings season. We’ll be looking at the highs and lows they experienced during the just-completed campaign, as well as what the future holds for them in Detroit. Today, we feature right wing Jakub Vrana
Position: Left Wing
2021-22 totals (GP-G-A-P): 26-13-6-19
Contract Status: Two years remaining with a $5.25 million AAV
Jakub Vrana was expected to be the Red Wings’ leading scorer last season. However, an injury delayed the start of his season until March. When he returned to the lineup, he picked up where he left off in 2020-21.
Vrana, 26, showed again in the final two months of the season that he’s one of the important players in Detroit’s rebuild. His scoring touch makes him a difference-maker. And he’s not just a goal scorer.
“Vrana’s a heck of a passer, too,” former Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said.
all Jakub Vrana does is score cool goals pic.twitter.com/vikdZwLAt6
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) March 11, 2022
2021-22 Red Wings Highlights
Vrana played only 26 games and had four multiple-goal games. That’s a multiple-goal effort in 15.3% of his games. He scored at least one goal in nine of his games (34.6%). He scored three goals in his first two games of the season. On April 6, Vrana generated six shots and two goals against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Also, Vrana and Red Wings teammate Filip Hronek played on Czechia’s bronze medal team at the recent World Championships.
— Ryan Hana (@RyanHanaWWP) April 20, 2022
2021-22 Red Wings Lowlights
Vrana re-injured his shoulder on his first shift at training camp and wasn’t able to play again until March. Red Wings management wasn’t happy because they had wanted Vrana to have the shoulder repaired surgically in the offseason. Instead, Vrana chose to rehab the injury without surgery.
What Does His Detroit Future Hold?
Jakub Vrana scored 21 goals in his first 37 games as a Red Wing player over two seasons. That’s a pace of 45.9 goals per an 82-game season.
The Red Wings aren’t expecting that many goals. They would be happy if Vrana was a consistent goal scorer in the 25-plus range every season. His release is quick enough to be a premium scorer and he can launch his rocket in heavy traffic.
“He’s as good a goal-scorer as I’ve been around,” former Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “And I’ve been around some great, great players.”
The new NHL coach will undoubtedly change Detroit’s line combinations. All we know for sure is that Vrana will be in the top six and likely will be on the top power play unit.
Vrana has been with the team for parts of two seasons, but fans and teammates don’t know yet what it’s like to have him for a full season. There was plenty of discussion among fans last season about whether the season would have been different had he been healthy all year.
“Just the way he can turn a nothing play into something,” Detroit captain Dylan Larkin said. “… He’s a true sniper. It’s nice to have that. He seems to really like playing at home and that’s big for our team….He wants to prove something for his team and league.”