The season hasn’t even begun yet and already there’s a good reason to pull for Jakub Voracek in the scoring race.
According to reporter Brady Trettenero, Voracek’s sister, Petra, has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and the Flyers right winger came up with a way to raise both awareness and money for the cause: for every point he scores, he’ll be donating $1,000 in order to help people with the disease through a foundation he announced Tuesday.
“The idea is excellent,” Voracek told Czech news outlet NovaSport. “Professional athletes have so much money that they can afford it.”
After signing an eight-year, $66-million contract extension in July, Voracek certainly has the funds to support his donation goal. But he doesn’t want to be the only one donating and said he also hopes the foundation, “can (raise) more.”
With the way Voracek has been progressing throughout his career — and with him right in his prime — it could be a big year for him, too. This past season, he shot out of the gates and by the time the all-star break came around, Voracek was leading the league with 17 goals and 56 points in 48 games. A repeat performance would mean great things for the Flyers and, more importantly, for his campaign to raise money and awareness for MS.
This isn’t the first time an NHL player has had a very public connection with MS. Former Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding battled MS while continuing to play in the league. The 31-year-old hasn’t played in the NHL or AHL since December, however, due to complications with the disease and it’s uncertain whether his career will continue.
As far as Voracek’s fundraiser goes, he formed one of the league’s most formidable duos in 2014-15 and the Flyers’ pairing of Claude Giroux and Voracek will be looking for a repeat performance in 2015-16. It was a down year across the board for the NHL’s leading scorers — Jamie Benn’s Art Ross-winning 87 points were the fewest since Stan Mikita’s 87 in 1967-68 — but here’s hoping Voracek can crack the 90-point plateau this upcoming season.