Flyers Expansion Draft: Jakub Voracek a possible top-six option for Kraken
The Seattle Kraken will have quite a few big decisions for themselves at next month’s Expansion Draft. They won’t be the only team impacted by the draft, however, as 30 NHL teams will lose a player to Seattle. The Philadelphia Flyers are one of the teams that may be impacted more than others by the NHL Expansion Draft.
On Monday, we looked at how the Expansion Draft could weigh heavily on the Flyers in more ways than one. They’ll be losing a player to Seattle and it could also mark the start of a busy period of offseason activity.
The Flyers only have a handful of players that seem like realistic possibilities to be exposed and selected by the Kraken in the expansion draft. This week, we’ll go through them (alphabetically) and look at a variety of things around the player.
Flyers Expansion Draft: Aube-Kubel a low-risk option for Seattle
Flyers Expansion Draft: Will Seattle take a crack at Gostisbehere?
Expansion Draft: Is JVR already Seattle bound?
Next up is Jakub Voracek, who has an outside chance at being taken by the Kraken
Why the Seattle Kraken will select Jakub Voracek
Jakub Voracek, if exposed, will be one of the best forwards available. Period. He tied for the Flyers’ team lead in points this season with 43 (nine goals, 43 assists) in 54 games.
Voracek has been a pretty consistent offensive presence for the Flyers since the lockout-shortened 2013 season. Since then, he has 555 points (159 goals, 396 assists) in 649 games. That’s around 20 goals and 50 assists for 70 points per 82 games.
Over the past three seasons, when Voracek was aged 29 to 31, he had 165 points (41 goals, 124 assists) in 200 games, so he’s still got it. That’s still almost 17 goals (16.81) and 51 assists (50.85) for 68 points per 82 games. There aren’t going to be many forwards better than that exposed in the Expansion Draft.
Voracek is a puck-carrying forward that can make his linemates better with his passing. A guy like that could help a lot with an up-and-coming team like the Kraken, who might have lesser goal scorers that Voracek can put in position to score.
Voracek’s contract is a tad much –– we’ll get to that in a bit ––, but it was front-loaded so he is owed less than his cap hit. That could be another thing that entices Seattle.
Why the Seattle Kraken won’t select Jakub Voracek
While Voracek will be one of the most talented players available, he’ll also be one of the most expensive. He carries an $8.25 million cap hit through the 2023-24 season. However, as mentioned above, it’s a bit less salary-wise –– $7.5 million, $6.25 million, $7.5 million –– through the end of the contract.
If both Voracek and JVR are available to Seattle, they’ll have a decision to make. They’re both offensive forces that are in the latter stages of their careers. Don’t get me wrong, they’ll still put up points, but Seattle has to worry about where they might be in two or three years.
Well, they’d only have to worry about how Voracek is doing in three years as JVR’s contract expires the year prior.
That’s going to be the sticking point for Seattle. If they want a guy with another year of control to help build the team, even if he’s on the decline, they might go with Voracek. However, JVR is the logical choice. But anything can happen and Voracek would not be a bad selection by any means.
The impact on the Flyers if Voracek gets selected
Jakub Voracek is one of the main players –– if not the main player –– that people mention when they want to shake up the core. And he could very well have already played his last game as a Flyer no matter what.
Given his $8.25 million cap hit and the Flyers’ need to add an expensive defenseman (or two) this offseason, Seattle taking Voracek would also almost be a favor. Losing a guy like him for nothing wouldn’t be great, but he might be at the point where it’s necessary.
If Voracek –– or JVR –– gets selected, it’ll start a domino effect this offseason for the Flyers. Clearing up cap space at the expansion draft on July 21st would pave the way to potentially make a draft-day trade on the 23rd, or just frees up the cap space for free agency on July 28th.
Will the Seattle Kraken select Jakub Voracek?
I could see it happening and Voracek taking his lumberjack-like beard to Seattle, but it doesn’t seem very likely. James van Riemsdyk seems like a better fit if they want a top-six player, and there’s also Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Shayne Gostisbehere (among others) to consider.
Photo: Heather Barry Images