Photo: Peter Jigerstrom/Corren
As Capitals training camp looms, speculation about how the pieces might fit begin. Rarely, however, does that speculation come from inside the organization.
Except that’s the case this time, as Caps Swedish scout Mats Weiderstal had some interesting things to say when talking with Per Bergsten of the Linkoping-based newspaper Corren about the future of Caps prospect Jakub Vrana. Here are the quotes, as translated by friend-of-the-blog Matilda Wrigsjo.
According to Weiderstal, it’s unlikely that Vrana will make the Caps this year.
“It is the coach [Barry Trotz] and not me who decides, but it feels like a long shot that an 18-year old will start of directly in the NHL.”
However, the Caps are high on the youngster, who will participate in training camp.
“Of course there is a chance he makes the team if he suprises greatly,” says Weiderstal. “He doesn’t just go over to skate a little with Ovechkin and Bäckstrom. Above all, it is about that he was so good at Development Camp in the summer that the management wants to see him against tougher opponents.”
“He is a great offensive talent and NHL clubs are looking for that particular excellence,” the Caps scout said. “He stands out with his technique, his shot and his speed. But it is unlikely that he right away will join the top-six.”
Weiderstal also revealed that he advocated for Vrana getting assigned back to Sweden to get an extended role in one of Europe’s top pro leagues.
“The club have asked me what I think about letting him get one more season in the SHL. I think it would be great. He has already become stronger and improved in many areas. He’s become more of a man and less of a boy,” says Weiderstal.
According to the newspaper, the Caps agreed not to assign Vrana to any other club if he fails to make the NHL roster. He will now head to Prague to get a visa. It’s unknown whether he’ll participate in Linkoping’s next two Champions League games. Due to his training camp participation, Vrana will miss multiple games in the SHL regular season.
Thanks to Matilda for translation.