Jakub Vrana just arrived in Detroit. He has only played in one game.
But, he’s already made his presence felt.
Midway through the 2nd period, Vrana gathered an outlet pass from Gustav Lindstrom as he exited the penalty box. He skated across the blue line as a Blackhawks defender closed in to his left. Then, with a quick wrist shot, Jakub Vrana put the puck in the back of the net high on the right side. The horn sounded as he celebrated with his new teammates.
It was a great feeling for Wings fans. Just days earlier had seen Anthony Mantha score in the first game the Capitals. While Vrana is no Mantha, it took a lot of the sting of the end of Mantha’s nearly decade-long stint with the Wings. This is not to say Vrana will be Detroit’s next superstar.
However, Vrana is a very young player. He was a former top 15 pick in 2014. Vrana appears to be as happy as he could be in Detroit. We cannot ignore the fact he got traded from a Stanley Cup favorite to one of the worst teams of the last five seasons.
Vrana isn’t the only player from the Mantha trade to look forward to this season and beyond. 10-year veteran Richard Panik will have an indispensable impact on a locker room whose leading scorer is 25-year-old Adam Erne. Lastly, we know what Stevie Y can do with those two picks. There is nothing more to be said.
Outside of having a hat trick, five assists, and 2 fights, Jakub Vrana had a great and promising debut for the Winged Wheel yesterday. With any hope, Vrana can become a good part of this organization for years to come.