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Detroit Red Wings trade Jakub Vrana to St. Louis Blues for 7th round pick, player

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman has accomplished what he’s wanted to do since January: unload Jakub Vrana.

Vrana was traded to the St. Louis Blues on Friday for a seventh-round pick 2025 and minor-leaguer Dylan McLaughlin. The Wings kept 50% of Vrana’s salary on the next season’s contract with a salary cap of $5.25 million.

McLaughlin, 27, has one goal in six appearances with the Blues’ AHL affiliate. The Wings immediately loaned McLaughlin to the Springfield Thunderbirds after the trade.

The trade ends a turbulent time with the Wings for Vrana, a talented striker.

Vrana, 27, immediately stood out for his skills on the ice when he was hired on the 2021 trade deadline, netting eight goals in the 11 games he played with the Wings in what was left of that pandemic-shortened season . But things soon soured, and Vrana’s nearly two years with the Wings is notable for how little he played.

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Red Wings left winger Jakub Vrana handles the puck against the Capitals during the second period on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 in Washington.

Vrana scored a total of 22 goals and 32 points in 42 games with Detroit. He could score out of nowhere and only needed one shot to make the difference. The problem was how little the Wings saw of him. Vrana showed up late for training camp at the start of the 2021-22 season, lasting just 10 minutes on the ice before a shoulder injury that had nagged since the previous season finally required surgery. Vrana made his season debut on March 8, scoring three goals in his first two games, but it was too late to help the Wings push for a playoff spot. He ended up scoring 13 goals in 26 games, which extrapolates to 41 goals in an 82-game season.

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Vrana was on time when camp started last fall and started the season on what looked to be a promising second line with Andrew Copp and David Perron. Just two games into the season, Vrana was placed in the NHL and NHLPA player support program. He was reinstated on December 15 and loaned to the minors on December 28 for a conditional period.

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Then Yzerman made a surprising move and waived Vrana.

When he finished, he was assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins. After a slow start—understandably, given his long absence from hockey—Vrana began to look like a lower-level NHL player, stringing together a six-point streak.

With Lucas Raymond sidelined with a lower body injury, the Wings recalled Vrana on February 14. Vrana was a healthy scratch for three games, then played in two games, both of which were won by the Wings. He then got another healthy scratch, another indication that he was not seen as part of the team’s present or future.

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Red Wings Fans: Listen to this week’s episode of the “Carlos and Shawn” podcast, embedded in the story above. It features our Red Wings reporter Helene St. James exploring the team’s recent losses and challenges during their playoff push.

Please contact Helene St. James at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames.

Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings Newsletter.

Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available at Amazon, Barnes & Nobel and Triumph books. Personalized copies available through her email.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Red Wings trade Jakub Vrana to St. Louis Blues for pick

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