Washington Capitals 2014 Draft Pick Grades

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Washington Capitals First Round Pick: Jakub Vrana

In the first round, the Washington Capitals drafted center/forward Jakub Vrana from the Czech Republic. The ISS guide has him ranked as the fourth best scorer and sixth overall right wing in the draft. Here’s the ISS scouting report on him:

Vrana was an offensive juggernaut for Czech Republic and probably the only top gun to play to expectations and beyond from his team. Intimidating offensive skillset and weapons, shot is lethal, gets pucks through traffic with ease and release is lightning quick to catch goalies looking. Battles well to get himself into position, not a perimeter player although remains a threat in all areas due to his shot. Patience, composure on the puck when pressured is excellent, sorts out his options and outwaits the opposition. Seems to always elevate his game to a higher level when competing for his country, wants to be the game-breaker. Showed flashes of his talent with Linkoping in the SHL this season.

I had Vrana in the 10-20 range. Most had him around 15th. I love this pick by the Capitals. Yes, his defense is a concern, but very few forward prospects are strong defensively when they’re 18. Barry Trotz will definitely help improve his defense. He was extremely impressive in the under 18 world championships, scoring 14 goals in 16 games. He’s the kind of player who consistently raises his level of play in big games, which is something that you can’t teach.

Hard to tell how well his game will translate over to North America, but he’s extremely skilled and has a very high hockey IQ. Skill tends to be a universal language in hockey.

Grade: A-

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