Better With Popcorn

Voracek has room to improve

Jakub Voracek is a big guy.

Standing at 6’2”, 214 lbs., he is one of the biggest players on the Philadelphia Flyers.

With the exception of Jaromir Jagr, Voracek probably has the most skill considering his size and much like Jagr, Voracek has proven that he is a difficult matchup.

When an opponent attacks him, no matter what zone, Voracek has utilized his back and lower body to shield the puck so that the attacking player is unable to reach in and force a turnover.

In addition, his skating ability and balance allows him to gain momentum so that he can easily skate in halve-circles to evade the attack and move the puck up ice.

Voracek’s ability to facilitate offense is a component of his game that he has excelled at for quite sometime.

Known as a ‘pass first, shoot second’ kind of player, he spent a large amount of time playing Rick Nash’s set-up man last year when he was a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Even through 48 games this season with the Flyers, its evident that he looks to set someone up rather than take a shot.

In a general sense, Voracek has been a wonderful addition to the team.

However, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have things he can work on.

Considering his size, intelligence and skating ability, Voracek could easily develop into a prototypical power forward.

To this point, he doesn’t drive the net consistently enough.

Often times when he enters the offensive zone with the puck, he begins to cut to the outside rather than attack the center portion of the ice. He does this because he is looking for a play to develop so that he can make a pass to one of his teammates.

In the team’s two most recent games, Voracek has displayed that it may benefit him to attack the middle more often.

Against the Boston Bruins on Sunday, he crashed the net while Max Talbot handled the puck in the corner. With Voracek driving, Talbot attempted a centering pass that went in off Bruins defensemen Dennis Seidenberg.

On Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers, Voracek entered the offensive zone at center, battled through a group of Panthers defenders and moved the puck to Tom Sestito on the right wing. Sestito centered a pass to a driving Voracek who tipped the puck into the net.

It’s evident that he has the ability to be a powerful force towards the opponent’s goal. What isn’t so clear is whether he has the confidence to do so.

Just like James van Riemsdyk in last year’s postseason, Voracek has the potential to take a game over at any time and much like van Riemsdyk he still has developing to do.

Although Voracek plays like a seasoned vet, he is only three months younger than van Riemsdyk and at 22 years of age, the Kladno native is just beginning to understand what he can do at this level.

If he can develop an instinct to drive the net, it will increase his chances of scoring goals, but it will also open up opportunities for teammates. By forcing goaltenders to make saves in tight, the attempts could generate second and third chance opportunities for other players.

Developing this attribute would make an already potent Flyers offense that much stronger.

Combine that with Voracek’s ability to pass the puck and it allows for a varied attack that will confuse opposing defenses.


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Larry DAngelo's picture

I was glad to see him get a chance at the shoot out . The kid is skilled and should be out there for those. Damn post!!!!