The Detroit Red Wings pulled off one of the NHL Trade Deadline’s biggest moves last month, acquiring forwards Jakub Vrana and Richard Panik along with a 1st and 2nd round draft pick in exchange for underachieving forward Anthony Mantha.
And though it was a small sample size, Vrana and the Red Wings appear to be a match made in heaven.
Vrana scored eight goals (four in one game against the Dallas Stars) and three assists in the 11 games he appeared in with his new club, and showed that he can be the kind of impactful player that helped the Capitals to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history in 2018.
For head coach Jeff Blashill, who will be remaining with the team as announced earlier this week, he’s already thinking ahead.
“He brings an elite skill level, he really does. Probably better than I realized watching from afar,” Blashill said Wednesday on the Stoney & Jansen Show. “He’s got as good an ability to score goals as anybody that I’ve been around. He’s got a really, really elite shot, elite touch around the net, he’s a really good skater and he’s got pretty good offensive sense. So I think he’s a guy who can be a dynamic offensive player for us.”
According to Blashill, he and Vrana have already spoken about his role for next season, which he’s looking forward to.
“As him and I talked, our goal is to make sure he completes his game to a point where he’s trusted to have lots of minutes. And those are some simple things, but things that I think he understands and that he wants to be better at,” Blashill said. “The thing I liked about him was that he showed a commitment to me to say, ‘I want to be the all-around player that you’re talking about.'”
“The demands will be greater, the responsibility will be greater,” said Blashill. “But he seems to be someone who wanted that, so let’s keep attacking it and see if we can help him become that.”
– – Quotes via Will Burchfield of Audacy.com Link – –