Flyers re-sign Voracek for 4 years, $17 million

Jakub Voracek was good for a career-high 18 goals last season. Yong Kim / Staff Photographer
Jakub Voracek was good for a career-high 18 goals last season. Yong Kim / Staff Photographer
Posted: July 27, 2012

ON WEDNESDAY, Paul Holmgren said it was "only a matter of time" before the Flyers would be 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 might 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.

"I am very happy that the Flyers gave me an opportunity to play on a top line with [Claude Giroux] and [Scott Hartnell]," Voracek said. "Like I said you never know what happens during the season. I just have to work hard and hopefully we are going to play great together. It is going to be up to [coach Peter Laviolette] what he is going to do with the lines. I am sure it is something good."

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.

"Any pressure? Well, no not at all," Voracek said. "I think the season I had last year was pretty successful and I know if I work hard, which is what I've been doing all summer, I can get better and better. Hopefully I'll have better numbers next year and we'll be a better overall team than we were last year."

Voracek missed just nine 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.

"I talked to him a few times back home," Voracek said. "He was waiting for what was going on in July and everybody knew the Flyers were pursuing [Zach] Parise and [Ryan] Suter. He was just waiting and he decided to sign with Dallas. I was always saying what is best for him and he always makes the right decision. When he felt that is the way he can get better and he can enjoy it, I am happy for him."

Now, Voracek will be counted on to replace his countryman in a big way. And he has the cash to prove it.

Contact Frank Seravalli at seravaf@phillynews.com or on Twitter at @DNFlyers.

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