Will Caps’ prospect Jakub Vrana play in North America or Sweden this upcoming season? He isn’t quite sure on that himself just yet. In an interview with Corren’s Per Bergsten he talks about his future, what the Capitals’ want him to improve, and what it’s like to talk to Alexander Ovechkin. My translation is below.
Linköpings HC’s talented player, Jakub Vrana, was drafted in the first round by the Washington Capitals this summer, Vrana’s rights are now owned by the NHL club, and in September he is going “over there,” to, if possible, fight for a spot in the best league in the world.
If he fails to make it, he has a return ticket to Linköping, and he will continue to play in the SHL.
“Of course I want to play in NHL. It’s up to the club to decide when they want me. If it’s not happening now, I will continue to develop, and hopefully go over next year instead,” said Jakub Vrana.
If nothing unexpected happens, Vrana will play his first game for the season with Linköping on Friday, in their first ever Champions League game against the Czech team Pardubice. As of the time of this article’s publication, the Washington Capitals hadn’t given official permission for Vrana to play, but that is supposedly more of a formality.
Going by the last few practices, he will play on a line with Mattias Sjögren [Ed.note: Yes, it’s the same Mattias Sjögren that was part of the Capitals organization a few years back.] and the newly added Jacob Micflikier. The plan is, unlike last year, to play the talented Czech on one of the two top lines.
If he is still here, that is.
“I didn’t get to play all that much last season, but I learned a lot, and I feel more ready now. Everything moves faster and everyone is stronger.”
Have you received any demands or requests from Washington?
“Well, they of course want me to get a bit bigger. But that’s not always the most important thing.”
Getting a call from Ovechkin
To take a spot on a team with stars like Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Bäckström will be tough, to say the least. If he can’t find a place on one of the top two units he’ll most likely stay another year in Linköping, and try to take another step in his development there.
“Whatever happens, it will be for the best,” says the 18-year old, who has a memory for life from attending the draft in Philadelphia.
“I had heard a lot about it, but I didn’t know what I should expect. It was an amazing feeling when I heard my name get called. I don’t think I ever have seen my mom that happy before,” said Jakub Vrana.
Right after, he received a congratulatory call from the teams Russian captain, Alexander Ovechkin.
“It was very cool that he called me. I hope to talk to him again soon.”