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Jake Virtanen | #18 | RW


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Just now, Toews said:

Yes but Seguin already had a few playoff runs under his belt at the time. Nylander, Ehlers and Jake didn't really have much of a playoff resume. 

I'm postulating that JB felt (his opinion) those other two would not be able to produce in the playoffs, while Jake would.  I'm not saying I agree; I'm trying to figure out the why behind the pick.  If it's not JB's predicted playoff performances of these guys, then why the pick?

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45 minutes ago, J.R. said:

Who claimed Virtanen was going to be an 'elite' NHL'er though? He's always projected to be a 'toolsy', complimentary player as his ceiling.

 

His IQ is average, not poor. He's no Sedin with a 'Neo' like ability to read the game and see the ice but he's not clueless out there either. He's actually quite adept at breaking up plays and takeaways which does require some actual 'IQ' and skill. His biggest problems so far have been maturity and a poor understanding of/commitment to fitness. Both of which he appears to have made strides with, we shall see one way or another this fall in that regard.

 

A hopefully more mature and fit Jake, with hopefully some decently talented play drivers to play with in Utica should have a far better year IMO. 

 

We wait and see.

 

What have I been saying that is different?

 

I've been consistent his ceiling is Raffi and there are those that are arguing against that. 

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Just now, Alflives said:

I'm postulating that JB felt (his opinion) those other two would not be able to produce in the playoffs, while Jake would.  I'm not saying I agree; I'm trying to figure out the why behind the pick.  If it's not JB's predicted playoff performances of these guys, then why the pick?

I think Jake's size played a big role. A PWF with speed is what JB thought he was drafting, too bad his development has not gone that well but Jake was a highly rated prospect at the time. 

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Just now, The 5th Line said:

Him getting in to better shape may allow him to stay in the league once he gets there but it isn't going to promise that he will become anything more than a 4th line energy player.  His stomach will lose it's rolls but his brain will stay the same 

There is plenty of evidence showing a direct correlation between fatigue and cognitive function in athletes.  Fat out of shape Jake's cognition was absolutely negatively affected by his 30 extra pounds and lack of fitness.  Judging his hockey Q on watching him play while fat and unfit is not relevant to the new 30 pound lighter and fit Jake.

 

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5 minutes ago, The 5th Line said:

Was he in shape during his rookie season?  Because he wasn't good then either, what about his draft +1?  He was nothing special then either.  He certainly wasn't in shape last season because he sucked.  So what do we have to judge him off if we've never even seen him in shape?   

Well, by this logic then, if he's in shape now coming into this season, there's a better chance he'll become a better player than expected (given expectations are lower than when he was drafted).

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2 hours ago, TimberWolf said:

 

Or that Benning has always been bad at pro scouting. 

Well now that just seems like YOUR opinion....which you are entitled to and I respect that....BUT

 

Maybe ask yourself this....

 

Ya Benning said "We will miss his speed". Do you not see that as management team input? As if to talk his boss out of trading a player they selected 2nd overall? They just lost Nathan Horton and had a decision to make on Seguin who was pretty much a bar hopping mess at the time.

 

Now when they finally come to the conclusion to rid themselves of this....do you NOT think that other teams aren't privvy to that knowledge? 

 

Getting Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Morrow and whatever else was probably THE best package they could get from ANYONE.

 

Don't make it sound as if Benning was the lobbyist and put his foot down and insisted Seguin be traded for the sake of sullying his name. 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, The 5th Line said:

Was he in shape during his rookie season?  Because he wasn't good then either, what about his draft +1?  He was nothing special then either.  He certainly wasn't in shape last season because he sucked.  So what do we have to judge him off if we've never even seen him in shape?   

That's my point.  He's never been light and in shape.  He's likely always been overweight, and easily fatigued, which certainly affects his cognition.  If, now being 30 pounds lighter, and (expectantly) fit he's still dumb as a sack of hammers on the ice, then he's a BIG BUST.  I think I'll give him this one chance though to prove he can think the game better, when fatigue is not interfering with his cognition.

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Just now, The 5th Line said:

You can take an out of shape player and still pick parts out of his game that are impressive, an out of shape player can still shoot the puck, or make nice plays, fight, hit etc etc.  Plenty of players aren't in the best shape but they still do things incredibly well.  But with Jake we saw nothing, it's just indicative of the type of player we are looking at.  Sure he can defy the odds and become a really really good player but people acting like he still has a good chance to become that top line PWF we wanted are out to lunch

I find this rather hard to believe unless if you want to believe we saw nothing. For example, he had some really good body checks when he was up here and he did have some physicality. His game obviously was limited still, but to say we saw nothing would be just as silly as saying we saw our future Crosby in him. lol

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Just now, The 5th Line said:

We saw some good body checks?  Is that supposed to impress me?  

To be honest, to me you come across as not wanting to be impressed. Basically purposely turning a blind eye to anything positive with him.

 

So no, I don't expect you to be impressed.

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Just now, The 5th Line said:

Stop trying to paint a picture of me.  

 

"Turning a blind eye to anything positive with him".  There is nothing positive, sure unless you want me to get on the weight watchers bandwagon.  That is what this has come down to, we are counting his pounds spying on him during lunch.  If Jake looking good in a tight T-shirt is considered positive then knock your socks off.  I actually wait until the players get on to the ice, thank you very much.  

I pointed out there are some positives that you clearly don't want to see and your second sentence I bolded proves the first sentence I bolded. I don't really need to paint any sort of picture when you provide the words you have provided. lol

 

Look: I'm not saying to jump on some bandwagon. I'm saying it's just as silly to think entirely negative about him as it is to think entirely positive about him. There is such a thing as a middle ground: a place where one sees things from both sides. Is he what people expected to be at the beginning? No. Of course not. Is he what you claim to be as showing us literally "nothing". It's the same answer: of course not.

 

In the end, the reality that is the NHL has kicked him in the butt and he's left to rethink how to come back. It'll be up to him in the end to show he belongs and the positives he did bring when he was up here can be those building blocks he uses to lift himself back up. However, ultimately, it'll be up to him.

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1 hour ago, The Lock said:

To be honest, to me you come across as not wanting to be impressed. Basically purposely turning a blind eye to anything positive with him.

 

So no, I don't expect you to be impressed.

Is your expectation for him to be a 4th liner? Physicality is nice but its really not impressive as there are a lot of players even in the minors who can lay the body. But the expectations now for every forward in the league is that they can contribute offensively. People don't realize it quite yet but the talent level of the league is slowly going up. Either you start contributing or you get passed over by someone who can. If Virtanen doesn't show much growth this year it is quite likely he will get passed over by guys like Gaudette and Dahlen. I believe this is his last year of waiver ineligibility, he needs to make strides this year or he will find himself on waivers next year especially if some of the younger prospects continue on their current trajectory.

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5 minutes ago, Toews said:

Is your expectation for him to be a 4th liner? Physicality is nice but its really not impressive as there are a lot of players even in the minors who can lay the body. But the expectations now for every forward in the league is that they can contribute offensively. People don't realize it quite yet but the talent level of the league is slowly going up. Either you start contributing or you get passed over by someone who can. If Virtanen doesn't show much growth this year it is quite likely he will get passed over by guys like Gaudette and Dahlen. I believe this is his last year of waiver ineligibility, he needs to make strides this year or he will find himself on waivers next year especially if some of the younger prospects continue on their current trajectory.

To be honest, I'm not really expecting anything. I'm hoping he rebounds and I'll make predictions, but I tend to prefer to reserve judgement until I see it.

 

As far as talent levels rising. Perhaps you're right, but there are also still players coming into the league at the age or 24 or later, especially defenders (not that Virtanen's a defender, but still). Ryan Sproul or Joel Edmundson for example are 2 players drafted back when Jensen was drafted and they JUST had their first NHL season that will make them ineligible to be a rookie in the future. So, while I agree with you to an extent that if he doesn't make strides this year he may have more trouble at that point, it's really not the end of the world, albeit he will have a larger mountain to climb.

 

But we also have to be real about some of these other prospects. We hope every year for every prospect to make it and come up with future line combinations with all of our prospects and then we drool and get excited... but when does it ever turn out that way? ;)

Edited by The Lock
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2 hours ago, Toews said:

Is your expectation for him to be a 4th liner? Physicality is nice but its really not impressive as there are a lot of players even in the minors who can lay the body. But the expectations now for every forward in the league is that they can contribute offensively. People don't realize it quite yet but the talent level of the league is slowly going up. Either you start contributing or you get passed over by someone who can. If Virtanen doesn't show much growth this year it is quite likely he will get passed over by guys like Gaudette and Dahlen. I believe this is his last year of waiver ineligibility, he needs to make strides this year or he will find himself on waivers next year especially if some of the younger prospects continue on their current trajectory.

Next two years are important for sure as by 21 or 22 he needs to sustain and grow but it isn't quite as desperate as you make it sound.  From the first round picks his year, he has played the 12th most NHL games and scored 14th most NHL goals - both in upper half of that class.   If he improves on both and trends towards top 10 along keeping his physical play, his development will be more than on track.  If he starts to fall out of that upper half, that will be harder for him to turn around.

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3 minutes ago, Rob_Zepp said:

Next two years are important for sure as by 21 or 22 he needs to sustain and grow but it isn't quite as desperate as you make it sound.  From the first round picks his year, he has played the 12th most NHL games and scored 14th most NHL goals - both in upper half of that class.   If he improves on both and trends towards top 10 along keeping his physical play, his development will be more than on track.  If he starts to fall out of that upper half, that will be harder for him to turn around.

Seems desperate to me as this is his last waiver eligible year. His production in the AHL is the worst in the 1st round outside of Bleackley who didn't even get a contract and was re-drafted in the 5th round. Even defenseman produced more, thats not exactly encouraging. If you struggle to produce in the AHL, how could you possibly hope to be a impact player in the NHL? The only two guys who made it with similar production are Ben Eager and Colby Armstrong, exactly the opposite of impact. People keep asking why there are so many detractors and its because he has done nothing yet to prove that they are wrong about him. People used to slag the Sedins too at one point in time but they proved their detractors wrong and earned the respect that is given to them today. A couple of workout videos is not going to make anyone rethink their position. 

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This year seems like make or break for Jake. Hopefully he can make the team out of camp and contribute but its going to be tough as there's a bit of a logjam right now on the Wings.

 

I think if he doesn't show some strides in first half of the season or so we should look at moving him. Realistically at that point it would be about getting something else in return while he still has some value. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Smashian Kassian said:

This year seems like make or break for Jake. Hopefully he can make the team out of camp and contribute but its going to be tough as there's a bit of a logjam right now on the Wings.

 

I think if he doesn't show some strides in first half of the season or so we should look at moving him. Realistically at that point it would be about getting something else in return while he still has some value. 

 

 

Make or break? Really? A 20 year old? Even Bertuzzi didn't get traded until he was 22 and look how that turned out. Although Neely was dealt when he was 21, so lets try going down that route again.

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6 minutes ago, theo5789 said:

Make or break? Really? A 20 year old? Even Bertuzzi didn't get traded until he was 22 and look how that turned out. Although Neely was dealt when he was 21, so lets try going down that route again.

Look at the competition we have now on the Wings, Jake Virtanen needs to be a scorer for us and if he doesn't take a step forward this year who knows if he will get the opportunity to be that here.

 

Times have changed since Neely (who scored 20 in his D+2). Bertuzzi I'll give you but for every Bertuzzi & Neely there's a bunch of big guys who never make it.

 

Jake has the tools to still be a good player & hopefully Travis Green will help him along but he needs to take steps here at some point. Needless to say this is going to be his biggest training camp yet. Hopefully he comes in and is ready to be a player this year. 

Edited by Smashian Kassian
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17 hours ago, Toews said:

Seems desperate to me as this is his last waiver eligible year. His production in the AHL is the worst in the 1st round outside of Bleackley who didn't even get a contract and was re-drafted in the 5th round. Even defenseman produced more, thats not exactly encouraging. If you struggle to produce in the AHL, how could you possibly hope to be a impact player in the NHL? The only two guys who made it with similar production are Ben Eager and Colby Armstrong, exactly the opposite of impact. People keep asking why there are so many detractors and its because he has done nothing yet to prove that they are wrong about him. People used to slag the Sedins too at one point in time but they proved their detractors wrong and earned the respect that is given to them today. A couple of workout videos is not going to make anyone rethink their position. 

He was sent to AHL to learn the d game and his shot attempts etc do not make any concerns about stats.   Judge him by NHL production which, to date, is still in uppper half of that first round.  His unique size and speed and mean streak, if harnessed, will make him a special player.    He also needs to play to His strengths and having an NHL coach who has spent a full year with him already should help.

 

 

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On 8/10/2017 at 1:38 PM, LimitedEdition said:

...

I don't even know what to say to this.  Tyler Seguin is known as one of the most ripped hockey players in the league.  Leave it up to CDC to claim Jake "Chubbs" Virtanen has a similar body type to Tyler Seguin, but doesn't look like it in photos due to his carb and sodium levels.

Wait, didn't you bring up Seguin in comparison? So aren't you comparing Seguin "as one of the most ripped hockey players in the league" and using that as a reason to call out Virtanen for not being as ripped?

 

I understand the motivation to have Virtanen in great shape rather than what he showed up like last year, but it's about functional fitness, not just his body fat percentage (or how much weight he has on the bar). Does he look ripped? No, but that doesn't mean he looks out of shape.

 

EDIT: went looking for a video of a friend of mine who is a pro strength trainer and used to work with Rugby Canada, and it's certainly lots of weight but man it looks grueling! But the trick is training multiple areas and different exercises to be a better athlete rather than just become a power lifter.

 

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