The Athletic’s Harman Dayal listed a set of 10 potential breakout candidates for the upcoming season, and Jakub Vrana cracked his list…
There are pros and cons to playing on a bad team from an individual production standpoint. Sure, there will be little help around you and the power-play unit you’re on probably won’t have enough weapons to score often but opportunities will at least be abundant.
That last part will be welcome news for Jakub Vrana. Since the 2018-19 season, only 12 NHL forwards have scored five-on-five points at a more efficient rate than the former Washington Capital.
It hasn’t always led to impressive counting stats in large part because he was stuck behind some elite forwards in Washington. Vrana never averaged more than 15 minutes per game in a single season in D.C. but climbed to over 17 per game when he suited up for Detroit. Those extra minutes paid immediate dividends as Vrana notched eight goals and 11 points in 11 games as a Red Wing.
Vrana obviously can’t be expected to score at that torrid of a pace — he shot 25 percent in those 11 games — but he should thrive nonetheless with the opportunity to spread his wings (no pun intended).
And Filip Zadina earned an honorable mention:
Filip Zadina, RW, Detroit Red Wings: Improving slow and steady, Zadina should get a bigger top-six opportunity this year. Breaking out may depend on Dylan Larkin’s health and how he fares upon return.