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Voracek on taking Jagr’s spot: “He was practically my idol”

Philadelphia Flyers v Winnipeg Jets

WINNIPEG, CANADA - FEBRUARY 21: Jaromir Jagr #68 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates his overtime goal with Jakub Voracek #93 and Andrej Meszaros #41 during their NHL game against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre on February 21, 2012 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Tom Szczerbowski

After signing him to a four-year, $17 million deal, it was clear just how strongly the Philadelphia Flyers feel about Jakub Voracek. GM Paul Holmgren essentially admitted that he’ll take Jaromir Jagr’s spot.

Voracek spoke about Jagr’s impact both last season and how he grew up idolizing the future Hall of Famer (who grew up in the same Czech Republic town of Kladno) with’s Sarah Baicker.

“It was very fun for me last year with all the players, especially [Jagr],” Voracek said. “He was practically my idol since I was a kid. To be around him all year long and to watch what he does before the games, after games and during practice was something priceless.”

The similarities between the two inspired some to call Voracek “Baby Jagr,” but he’ll have an opportunity to make an identity of his own alongside his idol’s linemates Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell.

The Flyers must hope that the 22-year-old breaks through like Jagr did around that age. After some strong initial seasons, Jagr exploded during the 1995-96 season when he was 23, jumping from 70 points to a whopping 149 (62 goals included).

Expecting anything close to that in a league where 100-point seasons are rare would be excessive, but Philly’s front office would love the parallels to continue in some form.