2010-11: Jakub Vrana played for the HC Letnany U18 and U16 teams in his native Czech Republic as a 14-year old; splitting the season between the two squads. He was tied for the U18 team lead in goals (19) despite playing in just 26 of 48 games and was +5 with 10 assists and 10 penalty minutes. He scored 28 goals with 15 assists in 18 games with the U16 team and was +20 with 30 penalty minutes.
2011-12: Vrana moved from Czech junior hockey to Linkoping in Sweden and skated for the Czech Republic’s U18 and U17 national teams. He appeared in three games with Linkoping’s U20 team in the SuperElit league and was +2 with 1 goal and 2 penalty minutes. Vrana scored 28 goals with 17 assists in 32 regular season games for Linkoping’s U18 team and had 2 goals with 2 assists and was +4 with 12 penalty minutes in three playoff games. Vrana capped the season playing in the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship; scoring 4 goals with 4 assists and finishing +1 with 4 penalty minutes in six games. The host team, the Czech Republic finished eighth. In five games at the 2013 U17 World Hockey Challenge he scored 2 goals with 4 penalty minutes.
2012-13: Vrana made his pro hockey debut — appearing in five games with Linkoping in Sweden’s Elitserien — and was the top goal scorer for the club’s U20 team. He represented the Czech Republic in the 2013 U20 and U18 World Junior Championship tournaments. Vrana had no points nor penalty minutes and was -2; averaging 9:32 minutes of ice time in Elitserien play. He led Linkoping’s U20 team with 20 goals in 32 regular season games and was +3 with 12 assists and 49 penalty minutes. He scored 1 goal and was -2 in five playoff games. Vrana played six games for the Czech U20 team in Ufa; finishing +1 with 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes.
2013-14: Vrana returned to Sweden for his third season with Linkoping — splitting time between the club’s SHL and junior teams — and was selected to compete for the Czech Republic in the 2014 World Junior Championship.
Vrana has played against men for parts of two seasons already. A Czech who went to Sweden at the age of 15, his development has been steady while he’s statistically remained around the point-per-game level for Linkoping’s U20 team the past two seasons. Already a veteran of three U18 World Championships (recent silver medalist) and two WJCs, Vrana has grown into a leader and go-to player for his nation. He possesses good offensive instincts and a nose for the net. Has a knack for timely goals. Unafraid to shoot from anywhere, he loves to come in off the right wing side and find the far inner goalpost. His release and accuracy are obviously tricky for goaltenders, as no less than his most recent international offensive success has demonstrated. Strong laterally in movement and very good with the puck, often displaying above-average creativity with it. Although one doesn’t expect it right away when watching his unselfish play, Vrana is generally more of a goal scorer than a playmaker.
Vrana can have periods of time where he seems unconcentrated or simply not in the game. Has been known to show frustration when certain things aren’t working or aren’t going his way. Still doesn’t have the size or frame to withstand the physical pressures of the men’s game. There are also times where his first few steps don’t generate much speed. In general, a player that will need to see his defensive zone game become much more polished.