Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman pulled off a big move this afternoon, sending talented yet underachieving forward Anthony Mantha to the Washington Capitals in a massive haul that includes a bevy of draft capital they’ll be using to build for the future.
They also acquired two players who are ready to play immediately in forwards Richard Panik and Jakub Vrana. For those of you who are unfamiliar with them, keep on reading.
Vrana is a Czech native who was drafted by the Capitals in the first round, 13th overall, of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. A veteran of 284 career NHL games, Vrana has scored 76 career goals with 81 assists. Of course, his biggest career goal came in Game 5 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals, beating Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury glove side for the game’s opening goal; Vrana and the Capitals would be lifting the Stanley Cup later that night.
He enjoyed his best offensive output last season, scoring 25 goals with 27 assists; he’s tallied 11 goals with 14 assists in 39 games this year. He’s a restricted free-agent at season’s end.
Panik, who is also a Czech native, was originally drafted 52nd overall in 2009 by the Tampa Bay Lightning. He would also play for the Toronto Maple Leafs before being dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2016; he was later dealt to the Arizona Coyotes before signing a four-year deal with Washington in 2019. In 505 career NHL games, Panik has scored 87 goals with 103 assists.
He’s signed through the 2022-23 season with a cap hit of $2.75 million.