Detroit Red Wings' Jakub Vrana to have shoulder surgery, out at least 4 months

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The Detroit Red Wings had Jakub Vrana slotted to be a significant part of their offense, but now must look to others to fill the void.

Coach Jeff Blashill delivered the bad news Thursday morning, announcing Vrana will have shoulder surgery that will sideline him a minimum of four months.

“He’s a guy that, going into the season, we had penciled into some big roles with the opportunity to score goals for us,” Blashill said. “Certainly, we’d be in a better spot today as we stand if he were healthy and ready to go. But he’s not and that’s just the reality of life.

“One of our biggest things we do as a team is – we certainly care about the guys that are out – but we worry about the guys that are available to us and who can get it done.”

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Detroit Red Wings left wing Jakub Vrana (15) flips the puck in the air during a stop in play against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 1st period on May 8, 2021 at Nationwide Arena.
Detroit Red Wings left wing Jakub Vrana (15) flips the puck in the air during a stop in play against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 1st period on May 8, 2021 at Nationwide Arena.

Veteran Bobby Ryan is a frontrunner to fill the role; the savvy winger knows how to get into scoring spots, something he demonstrated as recently as Wednesday, when he had a goal and assist in regulation and also scored in a shootout in an exhibition game Wednesday. Ryan, 34, is at camp on a tryout.

Another candidate, at the other end of his NHL career, is Lucas Raymond, the Wings’ first-round pick from 2020. He’s a smart, skilled winger looking to make the jump to the NHL.

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The Wings acquired Vrana, 25, as part of last year's trade-deadline deal that sent Anthony Mantha to the Washington Capitals. Vrana looked like an immediate fit, contributing 11 points in 11 games. General manager Steve Yzerman signed Vrana to a three-year deal with a $5.25 million annual average value in August.

Blashill said the injury had been nagging. "He's had some issues with it. Went through the summer and ultimately aggravated it."

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Red Wings' Jakub Vrana out at least 4 months