GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It appears that Grand Rapids Griffins fans will get a nice gift before ringing in the New Year.
A spokesperson with the Griffins told News 8 that Red Wings winger Jakub Vrana is slated to suit up for the New Year’s Eve game against Milwaukee.
The 26-year-old Vrana is starting a three-game conditioning stint with the Griffins Wednesday night against the Rockford IceHogs. His conditioning assignment will wrap up Saturday night at Van Andel Arena before the Prague native rejoins his NHL club.
Vrana entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program in October. That program is designed to offer players treatment for a wide range of issues, including mental health and substance abuse. Vrana returned to Red Wings practice earlier this month — he declined to share why he entered the program but told media “you have to make some decisions that are important in your life and hockey is besides that.”
Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman acquired Vrana from the Washington Capitals in 2021 in exchange for draft picks, veteran forward Richard Panik and former Grand Rapids Griffin Anthony Mantha. Since the trade, Vrana has played 39 games for Detroit posting 32 points.
The Griffins say that Vrana’s assignment is subject to change, including if there is an injury in Detroit. The team will play Wednesday in Rockford and on Friday in Milwaukee before Saturday’s game at Van Andel Arena.