Why Philadelphia is Going to Love Jakub Voracek
A few days have passed since the Flyers shocked the hockey world by trading two of their top center icemen. Not only did they trade away their captain, Mike Richards, but the Flyers also parted ways with 40 goal scorer Jeff Carter. While it isn't possible to replace a natural goal scorer like Carter, the return in the trade is definitely something to be excited about.
Not only did the Flyers get a first and a third round pick (Sean Couturier and Nick Cousins) from Columbus, but the Flyers also got right-winger Jakub Voracek. Acquiring Voracek alone is great news for Philadelphia fans. This team may not be recognizable by September, but the orange and black are certainly looking like they are finally going to be strong on the wing. Although that may sound strange considering the offensive talent on the team last season, it may be true.
Voracek may not be extremely well known league wide, but fans in Philadelphia are going to fall in love with the Czech winger.
He got his first chance to shine when he represented his country in international play. He played for the Czech Republic in two Under-18 tournaments, two World Junior Championships, and two World Championships winning gold in 2010 and a bronze in 2006 and 2011.
Playing in a city like Columbus often leads to players flying under the radar because it's rare to see a Columbus game nationally televised. For that reason, not many skaters on the Blue Jackets are brought up in hockey discussions. Voracek was always expected to develop into a great player, but sometimes it’s actually hard for players to reach their full potential while playing in certain cities. Matt Carle and Andrej Meszaros are prime examples of that. Philadelphia may be the city for Voracek to finally break out.
The big upside of Voracek’s game is his upper body strength and his excellent hands. It’s hard to do this guy justice without showing firsthand what he can do. Here are two great goals from Voracek:
Voracek also has a style to his game that just screams, 'Philadelphia Flyer'. He uses his strength to battle hard on the boards and to score goals, but he can be physical too. Hits can go underrated and fights still have some place in the game, so for the fan that loves some rough stuff, Voracek can keep them happy. He is no Daniel Carcillo by any means of course, but he's far from soft. For years, European players were stereotyped as soft players, but Voracek shows that it's clearly not universally true.
Voracek was drafted 7th overall in 2007 with great reason. He still has a lot of room to improve, and with the right players playing with him, he's only going to get better. The Flyers have some exciting possibilities for line combinations next season. Just picture a line with Giroux, Voracek, and van Riemsdyk and it’s easy to imagine the beautiful goals that are going to be scored. The power play could see some improvements as well.
There are still roster moves to be made, and this team is already far from the team the Flyers put together last season. But the addition of Voracek is an upside that will not only help the Flyers out in the future but will help the Flyers out immediately.