The Detroit Red Wings need Jakub Vrana to be better on defense

Last season saw Detroit Red Wings left wings (LW) Jakub Vrana score 13 goals, 6 assists 19 points in just 26 games played. Vrana was coming off of shoulder surgery which lead to the forward missing most of the season. Offense has never been an issue for Vrana, defense that is another story entirely. A couple days into training camp the Red Wings are asking Vrana to be more attentive when the other team has the puck.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – JULY 07: Head coach Derek Lalonde of the Detroit Red Wings during Round One of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Detroit Red Wings head coach, Derek Lalonde said he met with Jakub Vrana and explained that he knew Vrana was a gifted goal scorer in order to take the next step in his development Lalonde challenged Vrana to become a complete hockey player.

When the Detroit Red Wings hit the ice on the first day of training camp it was Lalonde who skated with Vrana and showed him where he needs to be and what is expected from him when the Red Wings do not have the puck.

DETROIT, MI – MARCH 30: Jakub Vrana (15) of the Detroit Red Wings shoots the puck against the New York Rangers during the second period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on March 30, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. The Rangers defeated Detroit 5-4 in O.T. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

It is up to Jakub Vrana to take the next step. two-way players are common place in the NHL. They add more value to the team and the the player. The Red Wings do not need Vrana to play at a high level on defense, they need him to be responsible and a trust worth teammate.

When the Columbus Blue Jackets traded for Patrik Laine, Laine was a bit of a train-wreck in the defensive end. The Blue Jackets began to explain that he could be a great goal scorer and dependable on defense. Laine did the things the team asked and is now more dependable on defense.

So the team, head coach can ask, explain, show, but it is up to the player to either grasp ahold of what is being asked or not. Preseason will be a good gauge for Vrana, if he enjoys the ice time and would like to keep or increase playing minutes he will take the advise and begin to show defensively.

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