Jake Virtanen
Image: WHL

Jake Virtanen

Hometown:

Abbotsford British Columbia

Currently Playing In:

CHL

Birthday:

1996-08-17

Position:

RW

Eligible for draft:

2014

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2014

Height:

6-1

Acquired:

1st round (6th overall), 2014

Weight:

210 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • D

History

2010-11: Jake Virtanen scored a goal and an assist in his only game with the Yale Secondary Lions high school team in British Columbia and played for the Abbotsford Hawks bantam team. He was the first overall selection in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft by the Calgary Hitmen.

2011-12: Virtanen made his WHL debut — skating in nine regular season games and four playoff contests with Calgary — and was the third leading scorer for the Fraser Valley Bruins in the B.C. midget major hockey league. He scored 3 goals with 1 assist and was +3 with 4 penalty minutes in the regular season with the Hitmen. Calgary lost to Brandon in a first round series after finishing second to WHL champion Edmonton in the Central Division. Virtanen had no points and was -4 with 4 penalty minutes in the five game series against the Wheat Kings. In 39 games with Fraser Valley he scored 17 goals with 22 assists and a team-high 120 penalty minutes. Virtanen was the leading scorer for third-place Team British Columbia with five goals in four games at the 2011 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup.

2012-13: Virtanen skated in 62 games for Calgary as a 16-year-old in his first full WHL season and represented Canada Pacific in the 2013 U17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored 16 goals with 18 assists and was +25 with 67 penalty minutes for the Hitmen. Calgary finished second in the Midwest Division and lost to first-place Edmonton in the East Conference Finals. Virtanen scored 2 goals with 4 assists and was -2 with 27 penalty minutes in 15 playoff games. He scored 5 goals with 2 assists and had 8 penalty minutes in five games for Canada Pacific.

2013-14: Virtanen won a gold medal playing for Canada’s U18 team at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August before returning to Calgary for his second WHL season. He finished the year playing for Canada in the 2014 U18 World Juniors in Finland. Virtanen scored 45 goals with 26 assists and was +23 with 100 points in 71 regular season games for the Hitmen. Tied with eventual Memorial Cup champion Edmonton Oil Kings with 103 points in the regular season, the Hitmen finished first in the Central Division based on more wins before Kootenay defeated Calgary in a six-game first round playoff series. Virtanen scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was -2 with 4 penalty minutes in six playoff games. He had 1 assist and was -2 with 4 penalty minutes in five games at the Ivan Hlinka tournament. In seven games at the U18 WJC he scored 3 goals with 3 assists and was +2 with 10 penalty minutes despite a nagging shoulder injury that required off-season surgery. Virtanen was ranked sixth amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Vancouver in the first round (sixth overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Talent Analysis

Virtanen is a complete power forward. He shoots the puck hard and is strong along the boards. His key asset is his great acceleration and speed. Virtanen moves well laterally without gearing down. He can be relied upon in all situations and has a heavy physical presence to his game.

Future

Virtanen attended his first training camp with the "hometown" Canucks before returning to Calgary for the 2014-15 season to skate for the Hitmen. In his third WHL season he is once again amongst the top scorers for Hitmen and was a key force for Canada's gold medal U20 squad at the 2015 World Juniors. Long-term he projects as a prototypical power forward with a mix of toughness, skating ability and offensive skill at the NHL level.

Vancouver Canucks prospect awards honor playoff standouts

by Peter Prohaska
on
Cole Cassels - Vancouver Canucks

Photo: Vancouver 2013 third rounder Cole Cassels of the Oshawa Generals played spoiler in the OHL playoffs thanks to solid defensive work on Erie’s Connor McDavid (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

The season ended suddenly and surprisingly for the Canucks at the hands of the Calgary Flames, a team that was not expected to do much of anything this season but whose undervalued prospect depth has quickly proven to be on track and capable. The Canucks on the other hand now find themselves in a transitional phase, with Daniel and Henrik Sedin showing signs of slowing down, but with a strong group of players coming up to bolster an experienced NHL core. The good news is that the bulk of the prospect pool enjoyed post-season runs during the 2014-15 season, with deep playoff runs in the AHL and OHL playoffs for some notable names.

Read more»

Top 50 NHL Prospects: Virtanen leads 31-40 group in Spring rankings

by HF Staff
on
Jake Virtanen - Team Canada

Photo: Vancouver Canucks prospect Jake Virtanen contributed to Team Canada’s gold medal win at the 2015 U20 World Junior Championship, scoring a goal and adding three assists in seven games (courtesy of Dan Hamilton/Icon Sportswire)

The Spring edition of the Hockey’s Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects continues with the 31 thru 40 section. This part of the ranking showcases several players whose stock is on the rise, including Vancouver Canucks prospect Jake Virtainen. Read more»

Prospect Faceoff: Top NHL prospects go head-to-head in the CHL, NCAA as playoff action begins

by David Hahn
on

Daniel Carr - Hamilton Bulldogs; Connor Brown - Toronto Marlies - Prospect Faceoff

Photo: Top AHL rookies Daniel Carr of the Hamilton Bulldogs (L) and Connor Brown of the Toronto Marlies (R) go head-to-head in one of the more interesting NHL prospect matchups this weekend (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

All three CHL leagues begin playoff action this weekend. There are three particularly interesting games on hand, games that feature a mix of high-end prospects and valuable role players as teams in the OHL, QMJHL, and WHL collide. Meanwhile, the NCAA Tournament begins this weekend, and one matchup in particular is worthy of extra attention. In the AHL, two top scorers from far different backgrounds clash as the AHL season starts to wind down. Read more»

Bjorkstrand, Virtanen the top NHL-drafted wingers in the WHL

by Glen Erickson
on

Oliver Bjorkstrand - Portland Winterhawks

Photo: Portland Winterhawks forward and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand had a late-season, 5-game scoring streak totaling 15 points that helped to the 2014-15 WHL scoring crown (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Many of the WHL’s top players achieve success due in part to their versatility, as most forwards will take a spin from time to time at the center position.

The following ranking includes wingers that are currently property of a National Hockey League team. A total of eight are signed NHL entry-level contracts. Our ranking consists of five Canadians, one American and four imports with six currently toiling in the WHL’s Western Conference. Additionally, our ranking contains a couple pairs of potential NHL teammates. Read more»

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