Why Jake Vrana is an Elite Forward in the NHL

In what was a shock move at the time, Jakub Vrana was traded alongside a bundle of picks to Detroit in exchange for Anthony Mantha, who went to the Washington Capitals.

At the time it was seen as an absolute steal for the Red Wings and could be seen as such for many years going forward.

Given Vrana’s unfortunate luck with injuries since getting traded, he has not been able to demonstrate his excellence. However, on the contingency of being healthy, Vrana can provide excellent value for the Red Wings for the remainder of his contract going forward.

(Image and Stats Credit: Money Puck)

(Stats are based on last year’s performance, minimum of 170 minutes played, only compared to other forwards, regular season only)

Before getting into the statistical outlook, we need to look at the contract he is signed to. At the time of the post Steve Yzerman has locked up the forward for two more years at $5.25m. With the dollar value here, he should be looked at at a mid table second liner. But through advanced stats we can see that the Czech winger provides much more value then that.

When looking at shooting percentage, which is calculated by the number of goals a player scores per shot on goal, Vrana is at 20%. at 18th in the league. 13(G)/65 (SOG) was the calculation.

With only 65 shots on goal, Vrana would be 533th in the NHL. given this injury it isn’t surprising for the low SOG totals, however it does give a good idea of the quality of shooting the Czech winger produces, given the impressiveness of the stat itself.

What this shows is that based on this model if Vrana were to increase the number of shots, we would expect more goals to go in. Given his injury and him only playing 26 games we can which comes out to 31% of the season, had he were to play a full season he would have scored roughly 40ish goals.

26 (GP)/ 82 (Games in a season) = 31%

100/31 = 3.2

13 (goals that Vrana scored) x 3.2 = 41.6 (goals at this pace)

(Image Credit: NBC)

Vrana in terms of G/60m Vrana ranked 4th in the NHL with a amazing score of 2.01. Only being beaten by Auston Matthews, Chris Kreider, and Filip Forsberg. All of which are elite level scorers in the league.

What this stat shows is that Vrana typical scores 2.01 goals per every 60 minutes he has on ice. Vrana had only competed in 26 games and 388 minutes last season. This does lower the sample size but is over a quarter of the season demonstrating a long enough time period to gauge value.

Additionally when looking at the 2.01 goals per 60 minutes, by multiplying 388 by 3 (as 31 he did play 31% of the season, which is close enough to one third and gives us a buffer), we can estimate he would have played 1164 minutes this season.

1164 (minutes)/ 60= 19.4

19.4 x 2.01 (xG/60) = 38.99

This further shows that Vrana if healthy would have scored roughly 40 goals if healthy.

With a score of 7.1 goals above expected, Vrana is scoring shows great value in terms of quality of shooting. This is evident when looking at how he scored 13 goals last season, we can see that statistically he is finding the back of the net through his skill and talent. Especially because he scored 7.1 above expected.

(Image Credit: Octopusthrower)

In conclusion Vrana’s shooting stats show that he is an elite level winger in the NHL. If he can stay healthy he can be part of a young and promising core in Detroit. Fingers crossed that he can play the whole season and show his skills throughout.

Interested in watching Vrana play? fuboTV for the United States has the NHL Network and other local networks you can stream and catch NHL Hockey. Click here to learn more


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s