Guessing that Jakub Voracek’s production would match Jaromir Jagr’s 2011-12 output seemed like a gamble last summer. Slightly more than one-third into this compressed season, Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren seems to have made a smart calculation.
I was uncomfortable with letting number 68 leave via free agency last summer, because I believed the Flyers were slicing their offensive depth too thin. Last season that future Hall of Famer’s 54 points (19 goals, 35 assists) ranked third on Peter Laviolette’s 103-point team.
Jagr averaged 0.74 points-per-game last year. His average with the Dallas Stars this season is 0.69 points-per-game (four goals and seven assists in 16 games).
Voracek’s acquisition (along with Sean Couturier and Nick Cousins) from the Columbus Blue Jackets, through the Jeff Carter trade, proved to be very promising. The young right winger played a steady game last season, was a plus-11 and averaged 0.63 points-per-game (18 goals, 31 assists, 78 games).
This season, number 93 is leading the team with 19 points (7 goals, 12 assists) in 19 games. Obviously, that’s a one point-per-game average.
Philadelphia had the third highest team scoring total in the National Hockey League last year, averaging 3.22 goals per game. The Flyers’ offense also ranks highly this season, as their 2.79 goals-per-game average is fourth-best.
Of course, we know that Voracek doesn’t have the pedigree of Jagr and that part of the decision to let that veteran go involved the team’s pursuit of other free agents at that time. But, “Jake” is doing a fine impersonation of one of the great forwards in NHL history during this shortened hockey year.