On Wednesday, Paul Holmgren said it was “only a matter of time” before the Flyers were able to re-sign forward Jake Voracek.
He wasn’t kidding. It took less than 24 hours.
On Thursday, the Flyers signed Voracek to a massive 4-year, $17 million extension. He will carry an annual salary cap hit of $4.25 million, a substantial raise from the $2.25 million he earned last season, his first with the Flyers.
While that may seem like a decent chunk of change up front, the Flyers are banking on Voracek’s untapped potential toward the end of the deal.
Voracek, who turns 23 on Aug. 15, could put up a staggering number of points on the Flyers’ top line with Claude Giroux, which is where Holmgren expects he’ll skate this year.
Plus, his contract is very comparable to some of the deals signed recently. Florida locked up Kris Versteeg, who is 4 years older, to a 4-year deal at $4.4 million per year. St. Louis signed T.J. Oshie, who is 2 years older, to a 5-year deal at $4.175 million per year. Voracek’s stats are nearly identical to both - and he spent the first 3 years of his career on a brutally inept Columbus team.
Voracek has missed just 9 games over his first 4 years in the league. He netted a career-high 18 goals with the Flyers last year, just missing out on tying a career-high of 50 points. He also posted a career-high 190 shots on goal and tied a career-high plus/minus at plus-11. Interestingly, all 18 of Voracek’s goals came at even-strength.
Undoubtedly, Jaromir Jagr helped Voracek immensely in adjusting to Philadelphia. Voracek grew up idolizing Jagr in their shared hometown of Kladno, Czech Republic, and the two spent quite a bit of time together.
Now, Voracek will be counted on to replace his countryman in a big way. And he has the cash to prove it.
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