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Jakub Voráček
Jakub Voráček 2011-12-29.JPG
Voráček with the Philadelphia Flyers in December 2011
Born (1989-08-15) 15 August 1989 (age 34)
Kladno, Czech Republic
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 214 lb (97 kg; 15 st 4 lb)
Position Right wing
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Arizona Coyotes
National team Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czech Republic
NHL Draft 7th overall, 2007
Columbus Blue Jackets
Playing career 2005–present

Jakub Voráček (Czech pronunciation: [ˈjakub ˈvoraːtʃɛk]; born 15 August 1989) is a Czech former professional ice hockey right winger for the Arizona Coyotes of the National Hockey League (NHL). Voráček was drafted seventh overall by the Blue Jackets at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. In 2011, Voráček was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Jeff Carter. He played for the Flyers until 2021 when he was traded back to Columbus in exchange for Cam Atkinson. He has also played in his native Czech Republic for HC Lev Praha and Kladno.

Playing career

Junior

Voráček was taken first overall in the 2006 Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Import Draft and played two seasons with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He also represented the Czech Republic at the World Junior Ice Hockey Championship in 2007 and 2008. On 2 August 2007, he signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the NHL organization that drafted him seventh overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Professional

Jakub Voracek
Voráček with the Blue Jackets in October 2009

Columbus Blue Jackets

Voráček made his NHL debut on 10 October 2008 against the Dallas Stars, also scoring his first career NHL goal in the game's first period on goaltender Marty Turco. Voráček scored 9 goals and 29 assists for 38 points in 80 games during his rookie season, helping the Blue Jackets make the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in franchise history in 2009. He also had the lone assist on the first-ever playoff goal in Blue Jackets history, scored by R. J. Umberger.

Philadelphia Flyers

On 23 June 2011, Voráček was traded (along with first- and third-round picks in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft) to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Jeff Carter. Days later, on 1 July, Voráček signed a one-year contract with the Flyers, the same day his new team signed fellow Kladno native and long-time NHL star Jaromír Jágr to a one-year contract. In his Flyers debut against the Boston Bruins, Voráček scored a goal in the game's first period against goaltender Tim Thomas. In the 2011–12 season, Voráček set a new career-high with 18 goals scored, also later scoring his first career Stanley Cup playoff goal in Game 1 of the Flyers' opening round Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, beating Marc-André Fleury 2:23 into the first overtime period.

In the subsequent off-season, on 26 July 2012, Voráček signed a four-year, $17 million contract with the Flyers paying $4.25 million annually. Upon signing, Voráček was expected to fill the gap left by Jágr, who had departed weeks prior via free agency to Dallas, on the Flyers' top line, alongside Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell.

Voráček returned to the Czech Republic to play for HC Lev Praha of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) during the 2012–13 NHL lockout. On 20 February 2013, shortly after play resumed in the NHL for the 2012–13 season, in a game against Pittsburgh, he scored his first career NHL hat-trick. On 25 February, he was then named the NHL's First Star of the Week after scoring four goals and seven assists in four games.

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Voráček with the Flyers in March 2014

During the 2014–15 season, Voráček scored the second-fastest overtime goal in Flyers history on 22 December 2014 in a game against the Winnipeg Jets. The goal, unassisted, was scored just ten seconds into overtime against Jets goaltender Ondřej Pavelec at the MTS Center in Winnipeg. It was scored just three seconds slower than former Flyer Simon Gagné's overtime-winning goal seven seconds into the 5 January 2006 game against the New York Rangers. Later in the season, Voráček was named to the 2015 NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio. In the game, he tied the single NHL All-Star Game record for most points scored with six, tying Mario Lemieux's record previously set in the 1988 edition. Playing in all 82 regular season Philadelphia games, Voráček finished the year with 22 goals and 59 assists for a career-high 81 points, tying him for fourth in the NHL lead alongside the Washington Capitals' Alexander Ovechkin.

In July 2015, Voráček signed a new eight-year, $66 million contract with the Flyers. During the 2015–16 season, Voráček experienced a slump in number production while also recording his 400th NHL point and playing in his 600th career NHL game. During the season, Voráček only recorded 11 goals, the lowest in his NHL career since his rookie year. He played in his 600th NHL game against the Florida Panthers on 4 April 2016. Voráček concluded the regular season with 55 points overall. The Flyers qualified for the 2016 playoffs where they lost to the Washington Capitals in six games. Voráček recorded one goal over the six games.

At the beginning of the 2017–18 season, Voráček was on the Flyers' top line alongside Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier. Despite occasionally being moved to a different line, he ended the regular season with a career-high 85 points in 82 games. During his career year, Voráček became only the second Flyers player in franchise history (the first being Joni Pitkänen) to score the tying goal in a game with less than two minutes left and score in overtime. Voráček was also one of five Flyers players to end the regular season with 20 or more goals to help push the Flyers to the 2018 playoffs.

Return to Columbus

On 24 July 2021, Voráček was traded by the Flyers back to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Cam Atkinson.

On 6 January 2022, Voráček played his 1,000th NHL game against the New Jersey Devils.

On 6 November 2022, while playing in the 2022 NHL Global Series in Tampere, Finland, he sustained a concussion after being hit in the face with a high stick by Dryden Hunt of the Colorado Avalanche. He missed the remainder of the 2022-23 season.

Arizona Coyotes

On 2 March 2023, the Blue Jackets traded Voráček and a sixth-round pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Jon Gillies. The trade helped Arizona reach the salary floor, although Arizona discussed the possibility of his salary being covered by insurance.

After the trade, it was widely assumed that he had played his last NHL game and would likely retire when his contract expires after the 2023–24 season. As of September 2023, he remains on the Coyotes’ long-term injured reserve list.

Coaching

In September 2023, while still on injured reserve with the Arizona Coyotes, Voracek took a position as an assistant coach with the Czech Extraliga team Rytíři Kladno. As a coach, his focus is on the power play and on development of young players. The team’s owner and president is his former Philadelphia Flyers teammate and two-time Stanley Cup winner Jaromir Jagr.

Personal life

As a child, Voráček wanted to be a garbage man. In 2017, his sister gave him a Christmas gift of the opportunity to ride a trash truck while the garbage men worked their route. Voráček has two children: son Jakub Jr. born in 2016 to former girlfriend Nicole Warnecke and son Matěj born in 2019 with current girlfriend Markéta Burešová. He is a big fan of Bruce Springsteen.

Records

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2003–04 HC Rabat Kladno CZE U18 52 30 24 54 28 2 0 0 0 2
2004–05 HC Rabat Kladno CZE U18 30 23 39 62 44 7 5 4 9 14
2004–05 HC Rabat Kladno CZE U20 16 5 7 12 6 1 1 0 1 2
2005–06 HC Rabat Kladno CZE U20 46 21 38 59 54 6 7 4 11 2
2005–06 HC Rabat Kladno ELH 1 0 0 0 0
2005–06 HC Rabat Kladno CZE U18 2 1 3 4 31
2006–07 Halifax Mooseheads QMJHL 59 23 63 86 26 12 7 17 24 6
2007–08 Halifax Mooseheads QMJHL 53 33 68 101 42 15 5 13 18 14
2008–09 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 80 9 29 38 44 4 0 1 1 8
2009–10 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 81 16 34 50 26
2010–11 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 80 14 32 46 26
2011–12 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 78 18 31 49 32 11 2 8 10 8
2012–13 HC Lev Praha KHL 23 7 13 20 22
2012–13 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 48 22 24 46 35
2013–14 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 82 23 39 62 22 7 2 2 4 4
2014–15 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 82 22 59 81 78
2015–16 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 73 11 44 55 38 6 1 0 1 4
2016–17 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 82 20 41 61 56
2017–18 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 82 20 65 85 50 6 0 3 3 6
2018–19 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 78 20 46 66 25
2019–20 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 69 12 44 56 31 15 4 5 9 24
2020–21 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 53 9 34 43 18
2021–22 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 79 6 56 62 44
2022–23 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 11 1 5 6 0
NHL totals 1,058 223 583 806 525 49 9 19 28 54
Medal record
Ice hockey
Representing Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czech Republic
World Championships
Gold 2010 Cologne
Bronze 2011 Bratislava
IIHF U18 Championships
Bronze 2006 Halmstad

International

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2005 Czech Republic U18 2 5 1
2006 Czech Republic WJC18 3 7 3 3 6 6
2006 Czech Republic U18 5th 4 4
2007 Czech Republic WJC 5th 6 1 2 3 4
2007 Czech Republic WJC18 9th 4 1 2 3 2
2008 Czech Republic WJC 5th 6 0 6 6 4
2010 Czech Republic WC 1 9 0 2 2 6
2011 Czech Republic WC 3 9 1 2 3 2
2013 Czech Republic WC 7th 8 1 6 7 2
2014 Czech Republic OG 6th 5 1 1 2 2
2016 Czech Republic WCH 6th 3 1 1 2 4
2017 Czech Republic WC 7th 8 1 5 6 6
2019 Czech Republic WC 4th 10 4 12 16 2
Junior totals 23 5 13 18 16
Senior totals 62 12 36 48 30

Awards and honours

Award Year
ELH
Golden Hockey Stick 2015
QMJHL
All-Rookie Team 2007
RDS Cup 2007
Michel Bergeron Trophy 2007
Second All-Star team 2008
NHL
NHL All-Star Game 2015
NHL first All-Star team 2015
Philadelphia Flyers
Bobby Clarke Trophy 2013, 2015
Gene Hart Memorial Award 2015
Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy 2013
Yanick Dupre Memorial Class Guy Award 2014
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