Jakub Vrana has arrived.
|14.0||time on ice per game|
|50.8||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|50.2||5-on-5 expected goal percentage, adjusted|
|61.8||5-on-5 goal percentage, adjusted|
About this visualization: This series of charts made by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com shows various metrics for the player over the course of the season. A short description of each chart:
Vrana’s 2018-19 was a genuine breakout. He added 11 goals to his previous season’s total, cracking twenty for the first time. He avoided healthy scratches to play in every game of the season and added more than 90 seconds per game, locking down a top-six role for the first time. It’s all good news. Although Vrana didn’t quite go to the net as much as in 2017-18, he made up for it with increased shot volume– ranking second on the time behind Ovechkin among full-time forwards. As Vrana enters his prime, everything is getting better.
There’s a ceiling implicit in all this. Vrana’s already in the league’s upper quartile in his individual five-on-five rates, and any ice time he could gain would come at the cost of Alex Ovechkin, which, actually, that wouldn’t be a terrible idea.
I have nothing bad to say about this guy. I hardly have anything interesting to say about him either.
Hey, here’s something: teammates did well when they played with Vrana. Below are the percentage of shot attempts belonging to the Caps when each player took shifts with and without Vrana.
All but four players tilted the ice better with Vrana than without, and the four who did poorer didn’t play with Vrana all that much. While it might seem at a glance that Vrana isn’t a strong driver of on-ice puck possession, the underlying pattern tells a different story.
Every marker we’ve got is screaming at us, “This is a special player. Watch this space.” And we will.
What are your expectations for Vrana in 18-19? Can he hit 30 goals? Can he start to relieve Alex Ovechkin’s workload? Would you like to see him kill penalties or is that just me?
Read more: Japers Rink