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Jake Virtanen | #18 | RW


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4 hours ago, J.R. said:

6th overall picks aren't generally, historically, top flight pieces.

 

They're generally better, complimentary players with the odd winning lotto ticket elite guy. 

Exactly.  If he turns into a solid 2nd or 3rd liner who throws the body and can shoot the puck not pass it in the slot a la henrik.  I will be thrilled 

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On 5/10/2017 at 8:23 AM, kloubek said:

That's where he was PROJECTED to be, yes.  But as time has gone on, he has so far proven to be ineffective in that role.  I think we all have HOPES he will become a top six player but that possibility seems less and less likely as time goes on.

...and that's where we come to the Hockey IQ portion that everyone is talking about on this page.  I 100% agree - he doesn't always make a lot of good decisions and I've been saying for the last couple of years that if he is limited to a bottom 6 role, this would be why.  The kid has the shot, the speed and the size - he just can't figure out what to do when he is on the ice.  Given his rather extensive physical abilities, he can guarantee himself an NHL job by just keeping things simple and not trying to overthink or overplay.

I am sorry to say it, but I'd say chances are better than not that he indeed will be a Kassian-type player.  Which is disappointing given the draft position we gave up for him, but ok to some degree because I think having that 3rd line energy player who can score here and there is always an asset to any team.  Look at what Torres did for us a few years ago or what Kassian does for the Oilers now - same sort of thing.  In our case, I believe it is even more important because for the most part, our forward lineup looks somewhat void of size otherwise.

 

Good post. I think this is a better convo after next season. If he doesn't at least improve enough to at least make the team at some point this year, or god forbid regress then I think he will most likely be A Raffi Torres type. Who Btw Isn't such A bad thing like you pointed out. I just think with his shoulder, then being rushed and stuck on the 4th line and then coming into camp out of shape really set back his trajectory. Let's hope he has his head on straight and prove to the naysayers that he does have some hockey IQ. People on here tend to treat him like he is 25 and has had 6 NHL seasons of garbage. Just my 2 cents cheers.

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10 minutes ago, The Lock said:

Well, let's look at the last 10 years of drafting in the 1st round. How many of those players are helping us on the team? We've seen players like Grabner traded. Hodgson had a huge fanclub and that fell flat. Schroeder's sorta doing okay on a different team. Basically until Gaunce, there's no one from the 1st round actually helping us.

 

Why am I saying this? Well, since Gaunce, we've been seen a lot better drafting. McCann came in to prove something. Boeser practically looked like he belonged at the end of the season here. And then there's Virtanen, who was evidently rushed. The thing is, he actually did improve over the course of the AHL season, which is huge.

 

In my opinion, if you have dissapointment, then you don't have hope. You can't have both at the same time. If you're going to be dissapointed, then you might as well just write off Virtanen. So go ahead and write him off. I personally don't really care if you do. The rest of us can hope he comes back. As JR pointed out, he's only 20 years old. There are still CHL'rs who are 20 years old....

But it's just so much easier to be negative though!! That means I actually have to follow some sort of code of self respect. :( WAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!

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Perhaps I should also point out that Dal Colle (picked before Virtanen) and Hadyn Fleury (picked right after Virtanen) have yet to even play a game in the NHL. The horror that Virtanen's currently in the AHL. The horror that his path may be a little different than precious Nylander or Ehlers... ;)

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2 hours ago, bp79 said:

Good post. I think this is a better convo after next season. If he doesn't at least improve enough to at least make the team at some point this year, or god forbid regress then I think he will most likely be A Raffi Torres type. Who Btw Isn't such A bad thing like you pointed out. I just think with his shoulder, then being rushed and stuck on the 4th line and then coming into camp out of shape really set back his trajectory. Let's hope he has his head on straight and prove to the naysayers that he does have some hockey IQ. People on here tend to treat him like he is 25 and has had 6 NHL seasons of garbage. Just my 2 cents cheers.

Agreed.  It is hard for a player to make an immediate impact in the NHL. I'd guess even Benning and Willie would agree he was rushed. 

 

But yeah, he's getting to the point that he needs to start showing what he can do.  Although aspects of his game improved this past season in Utica, he didnt exactly light it up. At all. It's worrisome for sure in regards to him being a top six player, but I maintain he will have a career in some capacity regardless. 

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40 minutes ago, kloubek said:

Agreed.  It is hard for a player to make an immediate impact in the NHL. I'd guess even Benning and Willie would agree he was rushed. 

 

But yeah, he's getting to the point that he needs to start showing what he can do.  Although aspects of his game improved this past season in Utica, he didnt exactly light it up. At all. It's worrisome for sure in regards to him being a top six player, but I maintain he will have a career in some capacity regardless. 

The way I see it, even if he gets on as a bottom 6. He's shown he has the ability to score. It's not unheard of for a player to start in the bottom 6 and gradually work their way up. We can even look at Canucks past. There was a point in time where both Kesler and Burrows were bottom 6 players. Kesler was even a 1st round pick. There was also a point in time where Kesler was known for his 200 foot game but with limited scoring.

 

I'm not saying Virtanen's a Kesler; however, I am saying that even if Virtanen starts out bottom 6, he still has a good shot at getting better than that.
 

PS: Anyone have a spray that could make Virtanen work as hard as Burrows?

Edited by The Lock
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6 minutes ago, JesseBlue said:

As long as he gets to lay a big hit on mcdavid again, I'm a happy camper. 

 

Canucks definitely needs more people who hits but not a Sissy type hit, but a nice big check.

This is actually one reason why I'm not too worried. He has the body and, if all else fails, can come back as a bottom 6 with the potential to still move up later on if he prove to be a latecomer in the scoring department (with hopefully less pressure on him to do so by that time).

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28 minutes ago, The 5th Line said:

People are disappointed with his progression thus far and that is completely reasonable so I'm not really sure what his age has to do with it.

Well, my post afterwards did kind of explain that he's still the age of some CHL'rs.

 

Age has everything to do with it dude, especially at this point. It's fine if you're disappointed so far, but don't let that make you completely ignorant  about things.Players can actually turn things around. What's even the point in calling him a flop at this point when he's still in the system at the AHL level showing improvements as a 20 year old? (not saying you're saying that although your tone sure comes across that way)

 

I just don't understand you. Are you just one of these people who want to be pessimistic? What do you like? Sunny walks on the beach perhaps? (Man I'm in a weird mood tonight)

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10 minutes ago, The 5th Line said:

I didn't understand anything you were trying to say in your first response to me.

 

He has been underwhelming since being drafted...therefore people are disappointed..Yes he's still 20 and can turn it around but as of right now he has been a disappointment.  Why do I have to explain this?  

 

 

 

Well, it's pretty evident other people understood my first reply to you. Perhaps read it again?

 

I'm not denying he's been underwhelming. I am however saying there's no reason to be pessimistic about it when he's still a 20 year old making improvements in the AHL. It's essentially crying over spilled milk.... that was mopped up.... earlier this season.....

 

(And no, I'm not forgetting what's happened either. I'm just saying we can't change the past so there's no point in crying about it)

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On 2017-05-14 at 0:59 PM, dpn1 said:

Also. Green has talked about Jake's struggles this year but both Jim and Green have said that he had a good heart and attitude in Utica this year.  There is no reason he won't continue in that.  They know him best and if it wasn't true I have to believe it is true.  They were honest when they sent him down, why wouldn't they be honest now?

This^^^^

 

My old pops used to tell me 'It's not how you fall that matters, it's how you get back up."  

 

Unless you fall off a cliff, then it totally matters how you fall ;) 

 

What he was saying is we all fail, flop and fall, but whether we get back up, dust ourselves off and find the courage and drive to try again, that is what matters. 

 

Jake failed to fly on his first try, so what?  

 

What I saw this year is a young man that saw his mistakes, addressed them with help from experienced people and took real steps in remedying the root problems.  

 

As many posters with life experience have stated again again, next season is Jakes to show his worth. He doesn't have to be an NHL Allstar, but the goals and production need to become visible. If he ends up as a third line grinder, then JB &^@#ed up.

 

But if Jake can become a PF that can make great hits, create turnovers and space for his linemates, score 20 goals or more and make the opposing d men nervous with the puck, then he is exactly as advertised and was worthy of the pick.  

 

EmW

 

 

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On 2017-05-12 at 10:03 AM, Rob_Zepp said:

Roller hockey is how Burrows stayed in shape in off-season and is how he claimed he got his first-step speed as you cannot "cheat" and need to use your core to generate the push.   It seems a good off-season activity for any player as long, as you correctly note, injury doesn't result.

Virtanen is the reverse Burrows.

Burrows goes undrafted and works his way through the ECHL, AHL, playing ball hockey, and eventually a long NHL career.

Virtanen is a high draft pick and has worked his way out of the NHL down the to AHL, and is now playing inline hockey in the summers.  Next stop ECHL?

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I notice that Jake is the most talked about player on both the Prospects and the Players Discussion threads. I wonder if that's because he's this entire package of intrigue and enigma; so much raw talent and potential, but frustrating that he can't seem to put it all together.

For those who remember the Bertuzzi years before he became BERTUZZI, this all sounds very, very familiar.

He would have highlight packages that made you think he must have been one of the most dominant players in the East (NYI), and then he'd sleep through three straight games only to wake up halfway through the 2nd in the next one and change the entire game...and then go back to sleep for a few...

He finally started putting it together halfway through his 20's...I'm not saying that I'm also not disappointed that Jake isn't scoring 30/30 already...but there is still some precedent that he could become what we had originally hoped.

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14 minutes ago, mangosteens said:

Virtanen is the reverse Burrows.

Burrows goes undrafted and works his way through the ECHL, AHL, playing ball hockey, and eventually a long NHL career.

Virtanen is a high draft pick and has worked his way out of the NHL down the to AHL, and is now playing inline hockey in the summers.  Next stop ECHL?

If he comes to the next camp fat again the .ECHL will ABSOLUTELY be the next stop.

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10 minutes ago, mangosteens said:

Virtanen is the reverse Burrows.

Burrows goes undrafted and works his way through the ECHL, AHL, playing ball hockey, and eventually a long NHL career.

Virtanen is a high draft pick and has worked his way out of the NHL down the to AHL, and is now playing inline hockey in the summers.  Next stop ECHL?

Pretty harsh, dude.  Burr didn't make the team until he was 25yrs old and that was half a season as a 4th line grinder.  His second season (26yrs old) he scored 9pts in 81 games. 

 

I wouldn't write off JV at 20yrs old.

 

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1 hour ago, mangosteens said:

Virtanen is the reverse Burrows.

Burrows goes undrafted and works his way through the ECHL, AHL, playing ball hockey, and eventually a long NHL career.

Virtanen is a high draft pick and has worked his way out of the NHL down the to AHL, and is now playing inline hockey in the summers.  Next stop ECHL?

Next stop NHL. 

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14 hours ago, The Lock said:

The way I see it, even if he gets on as a bottom 6. He's shown he has the ability to score. It's not unheard of for a player to start in the bottom 6 and gradually work their way up. We can even look at Canucks past. There was a point in time where both Kesler and Burrows were bottom 6 players. Kesler was even a 1st round pick. There was also a point in time where Kesler was known for his 200 foot game but with limited scoring.

 

I'm not saying Virtanen's a Kesler; however, I am saying that even if Virtanen starts out bottom 6, he still has a good shot at getting better than that.

Perfectly valid point.  You're right - it isn't unheard of but it certainly is pretty rare.  The instances you site were from nearly 15 years ago!  In Burrows' case, he obviously benefited from playing with the Sedins but he clearly turned into a far better player than projected regardless.  And for Kesler, well, I recall myself thinking - man, this guy is an awesome 3rd line center, but never did I feel he would be better than that.  But yet he ended up being a 1b/2a player.  

I actually see more upside to Virtanen's skillset than I ever did Kesler or Burrows.  I STILL think he has most of the tools to be a decent 2nd line winger - which is where I had projected him initially.  Where he lacks though is the ability to make quick decisions on the fly, and hockey IQ is even more needed now than it ever has been given how much quicker the game has become.  You could see both Kesler and Burrows make great plays when they were first on the scene.  Their skills and bodies just took a few years to catch up to their minds.  With Virtanen, it is quite the opposite.  But at least, the other thing that helped them was their tenacity, and that's something at least that Virtanen shares with them.

In short, I like the optimism.  I hope he does indeed turn it around.

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