By John Vogl
European team: Linkoping (Sweden)
Born: Prague, Czech Republic
Measurables: 5-foot-11, 172 pounds
2013-14 stats: 24 games, two goals, one assist, three points
Central Scouting rank: No. 4 (Europe)
Lowdown: Vrana skidded off the learning curve when he was promoted to the Swedish Elite League, as the erstwhile scorer struggled to play against the country’s best men. He got the callup after dominating at Sweden’s junior level. The creative center put up 20 goals and 32 points in 32 games with Linkoping Jr., making the promotion to the harder league a worthy one.
Vrana was a goal-scoring machine at the under-18s, leading the tournament with eight goals against competition that included No. 2 European William Nylander and 2015 U.S. super-prospect Jack Eichel. Vrana has played in the past three under-18 world championships and helped the Czechs to a silver medal this year.
Unlike many young players, Vrana takes heed of the defensive zone. He has the speed to get back quickly.
They said it: “He plays with determination and drive, has an excellent work ethic and is a very fast skater with excellent all-round skills. He is able to control the game and create a lot of scoring possibilities with his quick moves.” – Goran Stubb, European director of NHL Central Scouting.
The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL draft, which begins June 27.
taggedNHL Entry Draft