When he was taken with the seventh pick in the 2007 NHL entry draft, many believed Jakub Voracek would quickly establish himself as one of the NHL's premier playmakers.
Through his first three NHL seasons, the young Czech has yet to live up to those lofty expectations, but has not been a bust by any stretch of the imagination. To date, he has recorded 134 points (39G, 95A), more than former Flyer Jeff Carter had registered up to that point in his career and only seven points shy of Mike Richards' total over the same span.
There is no question that Voracek possesses the natural talent to blossom into a dominant scoring winger at the NHL level. He has a rare combination of size, speed and skill, along with excellent vision and a very good hockey sense.
It is likely the Flyers are hoping that another Czech player on the roster who once had a similar scouting report (Jaromir Jagr) will help the young Voracek make good on his potential. That is not to say that Voracek will become the next Jagr; it is merely to suggest that he has the talent to become a point per game or better player.
Like the departed Ville Leino before him, Voracek should benefit from playing alongside Danny Briere. The difference is that Voracek is far more talented than Leino and possesses the ability to dominate on the wing, something Ville was never able to do on a consistent basis.
By all indications, Voracek seems primed for a breakout season, just as Carter was before the 2008-2009 season. While I don't expect him to match Carter's totals of 46 goals and 38 assists for 84 points, its certainly reasonable to think that Voracek could be in the 55-65 point range in 2011-2012.
2011 Stats (CBJ): 80 GP, 14G, 32A, 46P, minus-3
2012 Stats (PHI): 81 GP, 23G, 36A, 59P, plus-12