Jakub Vrana is coming back.
Amidst the injury concerns populating the roster of the Detroit Red Wings, some good news was landing on Friday. The NHL/NHLPA player assistance program announced that Detroit forward Jakub Vrana has been returned to available status and has entered the follow-up care phase of the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 16, 2022
Vrana was back on the ice and at practice with the Red Wings on Friday.
Vrana’s care is continuing to be administered pursuant to the player assistance program. He was originally entering the program in mid-October after playing Detroit’s first two regular-season games.
Under the terms of the joint program, Vrana wqs continuing to receive his salary while receiving treatment. The decision on when he woud return to the club when cleared for on-ice competition was entirely under the supervision of the program administrators.
Vrana was also missing at the start of last season following September shoulder surgery. In 39 games with the Red Wings, Vrana has accounted for 22 goals. He is showing 1-1-2 digits through the two games he was playing earlier in the season.
Vrana Return Could Boost Red Wings Offense
Already without 30-goal scorer Tyler Bertuzzi (hand surgery) and Robby Fabbri (knee sur
gery) an author of 17 goals in 56 games last season, the Red Wings took another hit in the productivity department after captain Dylan Larkin was hit in the right hand with a puck. He was missing for Wednesday’s 4-1 loss at the Minnesota Wild. Larkin is the club’s scoring leader with 10-17-27 numbers.
However, Larkin was back at practice. Both he and Vrana were participating in drills, but wearing blue non-contact jerseys. Defenseman Filip Hronek, who left Wednesday’s loss after taking a check to the head from Minnesota’s Ryan Reaves, was also on the ice for practice. Hronek leads all Detroit defensemen in scoring with 6-18-24 totals.
Hronek’s regular defense partner Olli Maatta was returning to practice as well. He’s been absent for the past four games due to a non-COVID illness.