Jakub Vrana, Riley Barber, Madison Bowey

Three Capitals prospects have made the semi-annual list of the 50 best affiliated NHL prospects compiled by ESPN’s Corey Pronman. The list includes only players not currently on NHL rosters. This time, the ranking is topped by the Leafs’ forward William Nylander.

Following a mediocre World Junior Championship, Jakub Vrana, 13th overall pick of 2013 Draft, finishes seventh in Pronman’s rankings.

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Photo: Pavel Mazac/CIHA

Capitals’ first-round pick Jakub Vrana scored two goals and one assist in five games at the World Junior Championship before his Czech Republic fell to Slovakia 0-3, failing to make the semifinals for the tenth straight tournament.

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Photo: Peter Holgersson / Bildbyran

Editor’s Note — Throughout the season, Fedor will be posting scouting reports for Capitals prospects around the globe, bringing his thoughts on their performance as well as video evidence. First up is Jakub Vrana.

Washington Capitals 2014 first round pick Jakub Vrana plays for Linkoping of the SHL (Swedish Hockey League) and will play on the Czech Republic’s World Junior Championship team. He left a conflicting impression in the eight games I watched of him in October and early November. His skill was evident as he sometimes made veteran defensemen look foolish. However, he would go invisible for long stretches. On some occasions, it appeared that he let frustration get the best of him after missed opportunities on the offensive end and looked like a shadow of himself for the rest of the game. His first period was often his best as he sometimes looked tired in the second half of games and Linkoping’s coach Roger Melin would sometimes bench him in the third period. He clearly needs to be more aware defensively as sometimes he’s caught watching the play looking for a chance to get on the rush quickly instead of tracking his man in order to make sure there’s no scoring chance developing behind his back.

Still, his combination of speed and skill was too much for defensemen in this league. He also was always on the lookout to steal an errant pass or pickpocket a puck handler for a backbreaking goal. He’s not an overly physical player due to his smaller stature, but he also doesn’t put himself in bad position and get caught on big hits as well. If he can develop some consistency, he’ll be really hard to defend and potentially a game-changing player in the future.

Below the jump, I analyze every part of Vrana’s game with video evidence.

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Madison Bowey and Team Canada will try to bring Wolrd Junior supremacy to Canada on home soil. (Photo: Hockey Canada)

On Friday, the 2015 World Juniors will be underway in Montreal and Toronto. Two groups of five teams will be battling for ten days to determine the strongest junior team on the planet. It’s arguably the most meaningful and most exciting annual international hockey tournament.

The Washington Capitals will not be well represented at the tournament unlike in years past. After the club decided to not release Andre Burakovsky in a controversial move, only three Caps prospects will be playing at the tournament: Canadian defenseman Madison Bowey and two Czech nationals, forward Jakub Vrana and goalie Vitek Vanecek.

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Jakub Vrana Scores DC Hat Trick

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This is pure joy. (Photo: Johan Bernstrom / Bildbyran)

Jakub Vrana, Capitals’ first-round pick at the last draft, scored a hat trick in his team’s 6-5 shootout win against Farjestad on Friday.

That is a hat trick as the Swedish scorekeepers count it: after scoring two goals in regulation, Vrana also netted a game-winning shootout attempt, which is considered a goal in Sweden, unlike in North America, where we call that a DC Hat Trick. The KHL used to count shootout game-winners as goals early in its existence, too, but then decided against it.

Vrana’s highlights are below the jump.

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Jakub Vrana Records Another Two-Point Night

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Photo: Peter Holgersson / Bildbyran

Capitals prospect Jakub Vrana scored a goal and an assist as his Linkoping defeated Lulea 3-1 in an SHL game. Vrana, who scored the game-winning goal on Saturday, now has five goals and five assists. That was his fourth two-point game of his SHL season.

The 18-year-old forward also had two two-point nights in the Champions Hockey League. This year, he has had six two-point nights in 21 outings.

Videos of Vrana’s highlights from Saturday are under the jump.

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Photo: Peter Skaugvold / Bildbyran

Czech forward Jakub Vrana, who was selected by the Capitals in the first round of the 2014 draft, assisted on two goals as his Linkoping defeated Skelleftea AIK 3-1. Vrana missed the two previous matches (including a Champions League game against Sparta Prague) as he had not yet returned from Czech Republic, where he suited up for his national team at the junior Four Nations tournament.

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VranaSmile

SHOOT SCOAR SMILE

Since leaving Caps training camp, Jakub Vrana has dominated in Sweden.

Vrana, 18, kicked off his SHL season last week with a two-point night, scoring a goal and an assist against Leksand on Wednesday. Three days later, he was back at it again with his linemates Jeff Taffe and Jacob Micflikier (both former Hershey Bears), scoring a goal in Linköping’s convincing 5-1 victory.

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Vrana during an interview with local newspaper Corren before the game.

Washington Capitals prospect Jakub Vrana scored two points in his first game back with Linkoping after being cut from Caps training camp. Vrana, who was dominant in the Champions League action before coming over to North America, got a goal and an assist as his Linkoping defeated Filip Forsberg’s former club, Leksand.

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The best moment of Caps Rookie Camp didn’t happen on the ice. It happened on Monday in front of a podium. That’s where one Czech, Jakub Vrana, who knows some English, helped another Czech, Vitek Vanecek, who knows virtually none, speak to the media.

The result was a five-minute press conference full of laughing, inscrutable Czech banter, and one-sentence English translations for the media.

Curious as to what Vrana and Vanecek were actually saying to each other in their native language, I reached out to Darina Sameková, a bilingual Czech, and asked her to translate LITERALLY EVERYTHING.

The result is a stressed-out Vrana desperately trying to get good answers out a joking Vanecek. It’s just the best. You have to trust me and read this.

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