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A good season for Virtanen would be to make strides in Utica. Up his point total, particularly goals, and to become a dominant player physically on the ice, especially on the forecheck and around the net. He should have a better start to the season since he's in a lot better shape than this time last year.

 

I don't expect him to play up here with the Canucks until later in the season, after he's made said strides. Barring a significant amount of injuries of course.

 

As I stated a bunch of times hopefully he turns into a better version of Hansen(more physical/better scorer). Could take a bit till he reaches that level though.

Edited by Junkyard Dog
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^ Very well thought out and realistic post. I am quite sure Jake will be "slow cooked" and given enough time to develop to his full potential.

 

On the other hand, Alf's post....Though deep in my fanatical heart, I too have visions of Virtanen running roughshod imposing his will in games. Dominating with his combination of elite skating, size, physicality, and toughness. Maybe in a couple of more years, Virtanen will fulfill this vision that most Canuck fans have and validate Benning selecting him at 6th overall. I can hardly wait.

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2 hours ago, Junkyard Dog said:

A good season for Virtanen would be to make strides in Utica. Up his point total, particularly goals, and to become a dominant player physically on the ice, especially on the forecheck and around the net. He should have a better start to the season since he's in a lot better shape than this time last year.

 

I don't expect him to play up here with the Canucks until later in the season, after he's made said strides. Barring a significant amount of injuries of course.

 

As I stated a bunch of times hopefully he turns into a better version of Hansen(more physical/better scorer). Could take a bit till he reaches that level though.

This is Jakes show me season.  For all the blather about being a bust or not, this season will be either Jakes demise or turning point.  He is in shape, will be playing with more talent in the AHL by a wide margin. He isn't a line driver, but putting him with one would be the way to go this season.  

 

Batling adversity and adjusting to having to work for it vs it coming easily is Jakes fight.  IMO he has the right coaches, the right training and now he just has to put it together.  

 

If we get a 210 lb fierce two way player with and endless motor and 20g potential, yeah that would be fine by me.  

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3 hours ago, Eastcoast meets Westcoast said:

This is Jakes show me season.  For all the blather about being a bust or not, this season will be either Jakes demise or turning point.  He is in shape, will be playing with more talent in the AHL by a wide margin. He isn't a line driver, but putting him with one would be the way to go this season.  

 

Batling adversity and adjusting to having to work for it vs it coming easily is Jakes fight.  IMO he has the right coaches, the right training and now he just has to put it together.  

 

If we get a 210 lb fierce two way player with and endless motor and 20g potential, yeah that would be fine by me.  

No way this is a 'demise or turning point' season for Virtanen. I will judge him at 24 years old. 

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1 hour ago, Boudrias said:

No way this is a 'demise or turning point' season for Virtanen. I will judge him at 24 years old. 

Agree to disagree.  My POV is that Jake needs to show why he was drafted this year.  Not be a finished project, but play with determination, drive and intensity.  This would mean a much better AHL stat line and a much more upbeat player.  I do think he needs to be on the farm for a good chunk of the year with a few sips of the NHL.  

 

To destroy an analogy, His is first pro season was all carrot, the second mostly whip.  This year needs to start off whip and end with the carrot.  

 

If Jake produces a lack lustre AHL season, I'm out.  I don't think he will.  The biggest thing holding him back was fitness, that seems to be addressed.  I expect him to have a great camp, get sent down with the instructions yo tear the AHL a new asshole and be a fixture on the NHL team by the TDL.  Then be back in Utica for the playoffs and start next year in the NHL.  

 

So so for me, Jake has to show me as a fan that has battled the naysayers on this thread for endless pages that my hunch is valid.  If not I am out.  

 

EmW

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1 hour ago, Boudrias said:

No way this is a 'demise or turning point' season for Virtanen. I will judge him at 24 years old. 

You'd still see him becoming a good NHLer if he puts up under 20 pts in the AHL again?

 

Call me impatient but to me that's going to be a strong indicator that he's got a low offensive ceiling. It's been over 3 years after his draft now, I'm fine with him not being a top 6 NHLer yet but we need to see that he's at least making some progress, which we haven't exactly seen at all since he's been drafted. 

 

Everyone rips on a guy like Gaunce for his lack of goals last year but I've still got more faith in him than Jake just because he's shown the ability to adapt and learn. He started out slow in the OHL and AHL but steadily improved in both instances and he will in the NHL. That's all I wanted to see from Jake for now. 

 

This season will show if Virtanen really has it in him to get to the next level. 

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On 9/9/2017 at 10:25 AM, canucklehead44 said:

I thought Ehlers was the right pick but was pulling for Ritchie as he had the skill to score but is huge and tough. With Ehlers and Ritchie on opposite ends I thought at the time Virtanen was the safest pick. BC boy, good size, good skating, goal scorer. My theory is that if Virtanen became a physical 15 (Raffi Torres, bigger Hansen) we would love him whereas if Ehlers was a 15-20 goal scorer/40 pt second liner (Mason Raymond) we would hate him, especially if BC boy Virtanen became that physical top 6 player we've desired for so long. 

 

Ritchie is doing pretty well (about what I expected) and Ehlers is on the high end of his potential. Right now Virtanen is not doing well by he has a lot of time to turn things around.

This is about the most balanced and logical post about Virtanen in these 900 plus pages.   People forget that even with all the 'bust' talk he is still 12th in NHL games played, 14th in NHL goals from that first round class AND the 5th and 7th overall picks haven't played a single NHL game yet.   Drafting isn't precise and Virtanen is the type of player that both plays nature of game that takes longer to mature and he himself wasn't as mature of a player as some are at 18 (e.g. Horvat).

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2 hours ago, Butters Stoch said:

You'd still see him becoming a good NHLer if he puts up under 20 pts in the AHL again?

 

Call me impatient but to me that's going to be a strong indicator that he's got a low offensive ceiling. It's been over 3 years after his draft now, I'm fine with him not being a top 6 NHLer yet but we need to see that he's at least making some progress, which we haven't exactly seen at all since he's been drafted. 

 

Everyone rips on a guy like Gaunce for his lack of goals last year but I've still got more faith in him than Jake just because he's shown the ability to adapt and learn. He started out slow in the OHL and AHL but steadily improved in both instances and he will in the NHL. That's all I wanted to see from Jake for now. 

 

This season will show if Virtanen really has it in him to get to the next level. 

What I took from EastCoast's comment was that he was writing Virtanen off if he did not put up significant AHL points. IMHO Virtane even after the upcoming season is still young enough to adjust his game. Like you I do expect improvement this season. He absolutely has enough NHL quality tools to make the NHL. He could be a 25 point player and still be a major contributor to a Canuck team. 

 

Yes. I like Gaunce's game as well and will preach the same line of patience. I see both Gaunce and JV as 3rd line players. 

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17 minutes ago, The 5th Line said:

 

 

12th and 14th out of 30 players in the first round (for NHL games and goals) is in the upper half.   Not sure what is so hard for you and Forsberg to admit that - both 12 and 14 are higher than 15 when it comes to an ordered list.

 

No one is comparing him to a bunch of cherry picked examples - at least I am not - I am simply saying, have have been, is that his NHL number of games and goals scored have been in the upper half of the first round picks in his draft year.   No, not 6th overall but 12th and 14th, respectively.   Moreover, the 5th and 7th picks in that draft have not had a minute in NHL yet.   My point was, is and will be, he is not a 'bust' but certainly is not living up quite yet to his draft slot BUT he is also the type of player that often takes longer to hit their stride.    Why that is so hard for you and others to even acknowledge baffles me - no one (not me anyway) is claiming anything other than his factual stats in the NHL to date and the reality of bigger guys in general - not sure why that is so hard to simply take at face value.   

 

Rant on and bash him some more.  Cherry pick away!   :)

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2 hours ago, Rob_Zepp said:

12th and 14th out of 30 players in the first round (for NHL games and goals) is in the upper half.   Not sure what is so hard for you and Forsberg to admit that - both 12 and 14 are higher than 15 when it comes to an ordered list.

 

No one is comparing him to a bunch of cherry picked examples - at least I am not - I am simply saying, have have been, is that his NHL number of games and goals scored have been in the upper half of the first round picks in his draft year.   No, not 6th overall but 12th and 14th, respectively.   Moreover, the 5th and 7th picks in that draft have not had a minute in NHL yet.   My point was, is and will be, he is not a 'bust' but certainly is not living up quite yet to his draft slot BUT he is also the type of player that often takes longer to hit their stride.    Why that is so hard for you and others to even acknowledge baffles me - no one (not me anyway) is claiming anything other than his factual stats in the NHL to date and the reality of bigger guys in general - not sure why that is so hard to simply take at face value.   

 

Rant on and bash him some more.  Cherry pick away!   :)

That is not reality though. Its a pure myth that has been repeatedly disproven. An equal amount of small guys take longer to develop as big guys. Its just a lame excuse for poor play. 

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1 minute ago, Ihatetomatoes said:

That is not reality though. Its a pure myth that has been repeatedly disproven. An equal amount of small guys take longer to develop as big guys. Its just a lame excuse for poor play. 

Bigger boys tend to take a bit longer to get up to game speed to start the season.  Jake's reason for poor play was fitness.

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4 minutes ago, Ihatetomatoes said:

That is not reality though. Its a pure myth that has been repeatedly disproven. An equal amount of small guys take longer to develop as big guys. Its just a lame excuse for poor play. 

Nope.  Don't agree at all.  I played with a ton of guys in my career and far more late bloomers were bigger guys who took longer to find their skating, their right playing weight and the exact nature of what game to play (e.g. they may have been great scorers in junior but had to modify in pro).   In today's NHL, skating and conditioning are more important than ever and smaller frames adapt to that at a younger age on average.   Even the non-drafted and late round guys who eventually make it are the bigger guys.    

 

So, I disagree so perhaps are realities are different.   Smaller players peak earlier too it seems (often see their best ever pro year be in their first three or four) whereas some bigger guys peak even into their late 20s.   

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8 hours ago, Eastcoast meets Westcoast said:

Agree to disagree.  My POV is that Jake needs to show why he was drafted this year.  Not be a finished project, but play with determination, drive and intensity.  This would mean a much better AHL stat line and a much more upbeat player.  I do think he needs to be on the farm for a good chunk of the year with a few sips of the NHL.  

 

To destroy an analogy, His is first pro season was all carrot, the second mostly whip.  This year needs to start off whip and end with the carrot.  

 

If Jake produces a lack lustre AHL season, I'm out.  I don't think he will.  The biggest thing holding him back was fitness, that seems to be addressed.  I expect him to have a great camp, get sent down with the instructions yo tear the AHL a new asshole and be a fixture on the NHL team by the TDL.  Then be back in Utica for the playoffs and start next year in the NHL.  

 

So so for me, Jake has to show me as a fan that has battled the naysayers on this thread for endless pages that my hunch is valid.  If not I am out.  

 

EmW

Im impressed we can say asshole on CDC.  My day is made.

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10 hours ago, Eastcoast meets Westcoast said:

Agree to disagree.  My POV is that Jake needs to show why he was drafted this year.  Not be a finished project, but play with determination, drive and intensity.  This would mean a much better AHL stat line and a much more upbeat player.  I do think he needs to be on the farm for a good chunk of the year with a few sips of the NHL.  

 

To destroy an analogy, His is first pro season was all carrot, the second mostly whip.  This year needs to start off whip and end with the carrot.  

 

If Jake produces a lack lustre AHL season, I'm out.  I don't think he will.  The biggest thing holding him back was fitness, that seems to be addressed.  I expect him to have a great camp, get sent down with the instructions yo tear the AHL a new asshole and be a fixture on the NHL team by the TDL.  Then be back in Utica for the playoffs and start next year in the NHL.  

 

So so for me, Jake has to show me as a fan that has battled the naysayers on this thread for endless pages that my hunch is valid.  If not I am out.  

 

EmW

He played like that last season, the stat line just doesn't show it

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2 hours ago, Rob_Zepp said:

Nope.  Don't agree at all.  I played with a ton of guys in my career and far more late bloomers were bigger guys who took longer to find their skating, their right playing weight and the exact nature of what game to play (e.g. they may have been great scorers in junior but had to modify in pro).   In today's NHL, skating and conditioning are more important than ever and smaller frames adapt to that at a younger age on average.   Even the non-drafted and late round guys who eventually make it are the bigger guys.    

 

So, I disagree so perhaps are realities are different.   Smaller players peak earlier too it seems (often see their best ever pro year be in their first three or four) whereas some bigger guys peak even into their late 20s.   

People are providing statistical proof that show that the PWF excuse is a pure myth and your rebuttal is personal experience?... 

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10 minutes ago, guntrix said:

People are providing statistical proof that show that the PWF excuse is a pure myth and your rebuttal is personal experience?... 

People cherry pick examples that suit them.   I didn't stoop to that and instead simply offered my experience from over 15 years of professional hockey.   My way of responding - if it didn't work for you, apologies.

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On 2017-09-05 at 2:18 PM, stawns said:

I would say 99% of the posters here haven't actually seen him play in Utica, yet still they have the information necessary to slam him

On the contrary- I'd argue that 99% of posters here have babied Jake with incessant excuses with the intention of hopefully one day seeing the mythical golden boy live up to the hype. If it's not the shoulder excuse, it's his immaturity. If it's not his immaturity, it's his weight. If it's not his weight, it's the org's fault for rushing his development. If it's not the org's fault, it's the Hitmen's dire development regimen that set him back. If it's not the Hitmen's fault, it's because of the mythical PWF theory. 

 

What a time to be alive. 

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5 minutes ago, Rob_Zepp said:

People cherry pick examples that suit them.   I didn't stoop to that and instead simply offered my experience from over 15 years of professional hockey.   My way of responding - if it didn't work for you, apologies.

Using Doan to justify Virtanen's development so far is cherry picking. Fact of the matter is that PWFs don't magically take longer because they're bigger. The statistics are there. 

 

Its very hard to take a random claim on a forum seriously without proof. Someone can easily say something they're not. 

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