Czech Please…Voracek named NHL’s First Star

Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek has been honored as the NHL’s First Star for the week ending February 24.

Voracek earned top honors thanks to a career-best scoring run last week, totaling a league-high 11 points (4G, 7A) in four games. The 23-year-old Czech scored at least one point in every contest, totaling a career-high four assists in a 7-0 rout of the New York Islanders in Uniondale one week ago, then registering his first career hat trick in a 6-5 win at Pittsburgh two days later.

After adding a goal in a loss to Florida last Thursday and then three more helpers in a 5-3 win over Winnipeg this past Saturday, Voracek moved into the top 10 in overall scoring with 22 points (7G, 15A) in 20 games this season.

Voracek has recorded at least one point in 10 of Philadelphia’s 13 games so far in February, notching six goals and 13 assists in all heading into Monday’s home game with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“If we can get back to the .500 mark, it will be a good start. We have a chance to turn it around starting today,” said Voracek prior to the contest. “I don’t want to sound too cocky, I feel basically the same as before, and to be honest with you I am shooting the puck much better now than I was at the start of this season and last year.”

After a slow start to the season, he has begun to justify the faith shown by the organization thanks to a $17 million, four-year deal served up in late July. Now that Scott Hartnell has returned to fill out what has been a shaky top line through the first third of the schedule, it’s up to Voracek to continue that pace at a more consistent rate going forward.

Still, it’s a pretty good accomplishment being the first member of the Flyers since Ilya Bryzgalov’s two-week reign last March to garner top billing among all NHL players in any given seven-day period.

“We’re working really hard. We have a lot of energy going,” Voracek said on the keys to success for the club’s top line. “We have a good cycle going, and when you feel comfortable with each other, you start to get more chances and when you play with guys like ‘G’ and ‘Hartsy’ all the time, it makes things a lot easier.”