In Jakub Voracek, The Blue Jackets Have Acquired A Skilled Playmaker And Veteran Presence

By Jacob Nitzberg on July 24, 2021 at 1:51 pm
May 8, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek (93) skates with the puck as Washington Capitals left wing Carl Hagelin (62) chases in the third period at Capital One Arena.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Atkinson is gone.

It hurts. He was around the franchise and city for a long time, but he'll have a new opportunity in Philadelphia. The Blue Jackets traded Atkinson to the Flyers this morning in exchange for Jakub Voracek in a one-for-one deal. 

Voracek, if you remember, began his career with the Blue Jackets. They selected him in the first round of the 2007 NHL Draft, and he played three years in Columbus before being dealt to Philadelphia in the Jeff Carter trade. Ten years later, Voracek's back.

So what can the Blue Jackets expect from him? 

For starters, he's an incredible passer. In the past five years, he's averaged 0.63 assists per game. He's exactly what Patrik Laine needs. Voracek has skill with the puck and incredible vision, which will allow him to find Laine in dangerous spots.

As you can see, Voracek is all-offense at this point. He will play in the top six for the Blue Jackets, essentially slotting in where Atkinson did. If he plays with Laine, they'll need a center who can play solid defense as well. The jury's still out on the Blue Jackets' center depth next year. If they don't make any moves, their options are Max Domi, Alexandre Texier, Boone Jenner, and Jack Roslovic. That's not great. 

Voracek's got a left-handed shot and will play on the Blue Jackets' top power-play unit. He's creative with the puck, and will give the Blue Jackets some much-needed calmness on the puck. 

"This is a significant trade for our club and we are very excited to welcome Jake Voracek back to the Blue Jackets family," said GM Jarmo Kekalainen in a statement. "He is a powerful, dynamic offensive player that will be a significant contributor to our club."