While the goal-scoring has taken a considerable dive, it’s Jakub Voracek’s playmaking that has continued to shine.
After a down season for most of the Flyers roster, one would hope it wouldn’t become a trend after that. The team was considerably better under a new coach and new system. But for Jakub Voracek, things still continued to trend downward in the point department. He posted his lowest total since the 2015-16 season.
The team had 13 games remaining and there was a chance Voracek could make it close to the total he posted last season. He would need 10 points in those games, not a hard feat based on the streak he was on before the season pause.
We’ll start with the bad, however. Voracek’s 12 goals are the fewest he has posted since that same season mentioned above. He needed eight more goals to match last season’s total. So there was a chance he could’ve finished with 20 goals for the fourth straight season. But that stat leads us to believe that he has stalled in the goal-scoring department.
Voracek has never been a high-scoring player, though. His highest goal total was the 23 goals he collected during the 2013-14 season. He was a semi-prolific scorer in the QMJHL, posting 23 and 33 goals respectively, the second season clearly the best. Those 33 goals are the highest he has ever posted in his hockey career.
His assist totals have always been noticeable, though. He has only finished below 30 assists twice in his career. And his last six seasons have all been above 40 assists. It’s time to start seeing Voracek for the playmaker that he is.
It’s fair to have skepticism as Voracek was signed to a six-year deal with an $8.25M cap hit per season. With a player signed to that deal, it usually comes with heavy expectations. Voracek signed that contract after he posted a then-career-high of 81 points. 59 of those points came in the form of assists. That’s almost 73% of his points. So even then, it was clear that Voracek’s primary asset was his playmaking.
Looking at Natural Stat Trick, Voracek led the team by far in total assists this season as 44 of his 56 points came in the form of assists. He was the primary assister on 28 of those, almost a 10 point lead over the next Flyer. Voracek averages 2.24 Total Assists/60. That’s just beat by Derek Grant‘s 2.4. That total helps him to third on the team with 2.86 Total Points/60. Again, his assists make up a large majority of that.
The assists have gone down over the past few seasons as well, but it is still a large part of his game. He had six assists in the last five games before the shutdown. Increase that to the Flyers’ last 10 games and he had 12 assists. Voracek had a streak of five games where he grabbed 10 assists with at least one in every game. He was almost certainly going to finish with more assists than he had the previous season. In fact, he was only two away from that total.
While it’s clear that Voracek could be heading into the backend of his career, his assists totals are still far and above the best part of his game. And as long as he can continue to post high totals in that area, he will be just fine.