The Detroit Red Wings have agreed to a three-year contract extension with left-winger Jakub Vrana. This agreement comes the day before the two sides were set to meet with an arbitrator in order to try to come to an agreement on a contract. The contract is worth an average annual value of $5.25 million.
Jakub Vrana was acquired by the Red Wings from the Washington Capitals along with Richard Panik, a first-round pick in the 2021 NHL entry draft and a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL entry draft in exchange for right-winger Anthony Mantha in April of 2021. Vrana went on to score eight goals and add three assists for the Red Wings during the 2020-2021 NHL regular season. I previously wrote that a trade involving Mantha would accelerate the Red Wings rebuild. The Detroit Red Wings are currently in a rebuild after not making the playoffs since the 2015-2016 season.
General manager Steve Yzerman has begun to rebuild the team’s roster and Anthony Mantha was not seen as part of its future. At 26-years-old, Mantha is one year older than Jakub Vrana, and the two have had similar statistical output throughout their young NHL careers. These are the kinds of roster moves that a team’s general manager needs to make in order to get their team back to having success. The 25-year-old Vrana had a career-high 25 goals scored in 69 games played for the Washington Capitals.
This Jakub Vrana extension is far from the only move that Steve Yzerman has made during this offseason. Tyler Bertuzzi was also signed to a contract worth $9.5 million. These moves are made possible by the fact that the team has an abundance of salary-cap space. The reason the team has all this salary cap space is that most of the players that were on the team during the time period of former general manager Ken Holland have been let go. The Detroit Red Wings are beginning to build a young core that will include Vrana and Bertuzzi that look to get them back to playoff contention.
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