Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek’s preseason performances are confirming forecasts of a bounceback season
One could make a pretty good case that, over the last two or three seasons, Voracek has been the best Philadelphia Flyers player. Giroux has taken the team MVPs, Ghost has stolen the fans’ love, but on many nights no one did more to drive the play for the Flyers than the big, fast, Czech.
That’s what made last season a little disturbing. Voracek got off to a shockingly slow start, at least in terms of points. He also finished the season playing injured, adding up to his least productive season in 5 years as a Flyer.
The good news is that there’s always been good reason to expect a bounce back this season. For one, a look behind the curtain into advanced stats shows that Voracek wasn’t playing nearly as bad as his low output would suggest last fall.
He was still generating a lot of shots when on the ice, and his power play shooting percentage of 1.5% last year was simply an anomaly. You keep that up, and your luck will change.
Second, Voracek dropped a 11 pounds this summer. Voracek has a big frame, but he primarily plays a skating game. He’s at his best when he’s light afoot.
Now, after those positive indicators, we can see it with our own eyes this fall. First, after a year of tough luck on the power play, the puck is already going for him.
Voracek’s power play goal last night was more emphatic.
Or maybe forget about the finishes on the power play, and just consider this OT goal.
The games don’t count yet, but Voracek is clearly ready for the regular season.
This is the first year of officially playing under his new, massive $66 million extension. Based on the preseason, it looks like he’ll be worth that much this year.