Colorado Avalanche: Comparing Mikko Rantanen and Jakub Voracek

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 04: Mikko Rantanen /

Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen stacks up quite well against veteran Flyers winger Jakub Voracek, despite being earlier on in his career.

The Colorado Avalanche and Philadelphia Flyers both have top-line wingmen who are helping with their teams’ success. For the Flyers, it’s Jakub Voracek. For the Avalanche, of course it’s Mikko Rantanen.

The Philadelphia Flyers, after winning the draft lottery (second-overall pick despite being #19 in the NHL), have had a good bounce back season. At the time of writing, they were in the first wild card berth. Last season they had 88 points. Right now they’re on pace to finish with 96 points, which should earn them a playoff spot.

The Colorado Avalanche, naturally, have had a far more impressive bounce back season. Last year they finished with 48 points. (There’s not a team this year who’s even close to finishing that low — the fewest points is Buffalo’s 60). This year, Colorado has already amassed 90 points. They’re on-pace for 97, which might earn them a playoff spot.

For both teams, their number-two scorer has helped the team. Let’s look at the two players, who are very different for all their playing similar roles on their respective teams.

The first difference that jumps out is their ages. While six years isn’t a big difference in the real world, that age difference puts the two players at very different places in their careers.

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Rantanen is still just starting out, playing his second full season with the Colorado Avalanche. He has played 159 NHL games, recording 118 points (47 goals, 71 assists). He’s having a career season with his 27 goals and 80 points.

Voracek is in his prime, and getting near veteran status. He’s played 762 NHL games, recording 568 points (174 goals, 394 assists). He’s one point shy of matching his career best in points with six games remaining. His career-high in goals is 23, which is also a possibility for this season.

As you look at career highs, you notice the next big difference between the two players. In 10 years of his career, Voracek has never scored more than 23 goals. Rantanen has already exceeded that in his second year. He’s a finisher as well as a playmaker, while Voracek has been more of a playmaker.

Here’s an example of Voracek scoring a goal:

He shows good persistance on the play.

Here’s an example of what Voracek does better — assisting the Flyers’ leading scorer, Claude Giroux:

That is some nice passing by Voracek.

Now, let’s look at Mikko Rantanen. Here’s he’s classic, bent-knee goal:

That was his first goal of the season.

Rantanen can score that way from the other side of the net, too:

I told you it was a classic.

Here’s Rantanen accidentally scoring on the Flyers:

It’s ok if he wants to do that tonight.

If you’ll notice, the Colorado Avalanche’s leading scorer is on the ice for all those goals. Nathan MacKinnon dishes the puck to Rantanen, but quite often it plays the other way around:

That’s some teamwork.

Vorucek wasn’t this good early on in his career like Rantanen. It wasn’t even until his fifth year in the NHL that he cracked the 20-goal mark, which Mikko did his rookie year. He didn’t even record 60 points, much less 80, until his sixth then seventh year. As noted, Rantanen already has 80 in his sophomore season.

Next: Rantanen's Sick Shootout Goal vs Philly

The Colorado Avalanche host the Philadelphia Flyers tonight in a game that’s a must-win for Colorado. Here’s hoping we see a lot more of the Mikko Rantanen show than of Voracek.