Speed is often a topic when discussing Jakub Voracek. The 24-year-old Flyers’ right-winger is arguably the fastest skater amongst Philadelphia’s regulars. However, it was the speed of Voracek’s driving that created quite a scare for the orange and black this off-season.
Voracek crashed his blue Ferrari into an oncoming truck near his hometown of Kladno in the Czech Republic back in May. Thankfully no one was hurt, as he was speeding and couldn’t slow down in time to avoid a collision on a very narrow road.
Side-stepping collisions at high rates of speed is what Voracek has become known for as one of the Flyers’ best end to end rushers on their power-play. The lockout-shortened 2013 campaign saw the silky smooth winger emerge as an offensive stalwart for Philadelphia.
The Flyers acquired the Czech star, along with two draft picks, in June of 2011 from the Columbus Blue Jackets for center Jeff Carter. Despite Carter’s later success in Los Angeles, the trade could end up being general manager Paul Holmgren’s best; as those draft picks yielded talented two-way center Sean Couturier and prospect Nick Cousins.
At this point, the gem of the three-for-one deal is Voracek. Replacing Jaromir Jagr on the Flyers’ top line last season with Claude Giroux and Scot Hartnell, ‘Jake’ had his best offensive output of his NHL career.
Playing in all of the team’s 48 games, he was second on the team in scoring behind Giroux with 46 points. His 22 goals scored, however, were seven more than any of his teammates.
Spending much of the season as the league’s top power-play, the Flyers were led by Voracek’s 8 power-play goals which tied him for seventh overall in the NHL. Jakub was the league’s eighth leading goal-scorer and finished the year in the top 20 for points.
The 6’ 3” left-handed shooting forward is currently signed through the 2015-16 season, and has quickly evolved from underachieving enigma to one of the team’s centerpieces moving forward. Perhaps playing on the top line and first power play unit instilled in Voracek the confidence to match the skill level that made him the seventh overall draft pick in the 2007 NHL entry draft.
With continuing questions surrounding goaltending, shaky defense, and a group of prospects coming off of sophomore slumps, the Flyers are hoping that unlike Voracek’s driving, last year's success was no accident.
LOOSE PUCKS: The Flyers signed restricted free agent defenseman Brandon Manning to a one-year, two-way contract for a reported $675,000. The 23-year-old was an AHL All-Star last season and appeared in six games for the Flyers…The Flyers will host a three-day training camp and fan Fest at the Wells Fargo Complex on Thursday, Sept.12 through Saturday, Sept. 14. Doors will open at 8 AM daily.
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