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{Discussion}What is Jake Virtanen



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Hey guys.


We all know who Virtanen is: BC boy, tons of potential, etc, but do we think he's a bust or star?


The Vancouver Canucks may have broken their shiny new toy. Gifted with a rare high first round pick in what’s turned out to be a pretty deep 2014 draft, the Canucks went slightly off the board to select Abbotsford native Jake Virtanen with the sixth overall pick. Still available at that time were William Nylander, currently fourth in rookie scoring with 13 points, and Nikolaj Ehlers, a leading scorer right now in Winnipeg with 16 points.

Jake? He’s got one assist in ten games. He’s played the entire season on the fourth line, and he’s been demoted to the Utica Comets twice.

Guys. We left you alone for like five minutes and you already broke him.

The Canucks passed on two reasonably safe, high-end prospects in Nylander and Ehlers because they saw something in Virtanen’s game that was priceless: the potential for Vancouver’s first real power forward since the departure of one-man wrecking crew, Kyle Wellwood.

Indeed, Virtanen scored 45 goals for the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL, all while carrying a chip on his shoulder that’s bigger than The Mountain’s pet rock. The theory went that if Virtanen could meet his potential, he’d ride roughshod over “soft” players like Nylander and Ehlers.

I mean, NHL fans had recently witnessed two big, tough teams win the Stanley Cup in Los Angeles and Boston. Pick a player who can dominate the other team physically while scoring highlight reel goals? And he’s local and has swoopy hair? Yes please.

Most power forwards take a bit longer to develop, as they must balance the physical side of their game alongside their scoring prowess. It’s therefore common to let such players cook in the minor leagues, bringing them up slowly. So, obviously Vancouver opted to dump Virtanen into the big leagues at age 19 with zero pro experience after a thoroughly “meh” showing at training camp, because reasons.

In training camp last year, 19-year-old rookie Jared McCann made a compelling case for himself to stay with the team. He scored very well in pre-season games and looked ready to make an impact. Sure enough when the chips fell McCann remained, but perplexingly, so too did Virtanen. Jake had done little to impress in his pre-season showings aside from knocking Connor McDavid flat. Yet he fell victim to the same void Bo Horvat was in the previous season: he was perceived to be too good for junior league, but ineligible to be sent to the AHL due to his age.

Virtanen is still young, but we don't know what we have in him. That may be at the fault of the management crew too, but is it totally their fault?

It seems as if Jake has problems with people in the dressing room, and is perceived as another Ho-Sang. Lots of potential, but the attitude problems are evident. This would mean that in order to call the 2014 draft year successful, we're relying on a 6th overall kid with attitude. Ouch.

Yes Benning may have picked some gems, but the high picks are the ones where we are looking to find the top talent. With McCann looking like a bust, we were able to find Gudbranson, who may or may not turn out.

In 2014, we picked Virtanen, McCann, Demko, Tryamkin, Forsling, Pettit, and Stewart. Pretty strong draft, but the top two picks have turned out to be disappointing. I think that Demko, Tryamkin, and Forsling will all get NHL jobs for sure, Pettit maybe and Stewart maybe.

The Canucks have been plagued since Buffalo rolled number 11 and selected Perreault. We lost Bourdon, Rypien, and more, refs hate us, the league hates us. So when the Canucks got to pick sixth overall, it should mean that we're able to change our history and grab toy a shiny new toy, right?

Well, that's up to him.

So what do you guys think he'll be?


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"What is Jake Virtanen"

Answer: A disappointment


Seriously though, at best a hard checking third liner with a good shot who can pot in 15 goals or so.


Don't care how fast you are, or how big you are, how good your shot is. If you are unable to think the game at a higher level, won't be able to utilize that shot or that speed at NHL level.

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Not voting because I hate this thread.


He's a kid that was rushed due to his size, speed and our lack of depth.


Willy f**ked with his head, which was dumb as all hell because the kid was just a boy - "you shouldn't a done that, he's just a boy"


Can we please stop with the Virtanen threads until preseason? Patience with PWF, it's common wisdom. Damn

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I see him developing into a great 3rd liner.  Like Torres. He does have the skills to be better than that tho.


It's up to him where he wants to be. This off-season will show us all how bad he wants it.  If he shows up to camp a fat slob again then it's a lost cause.  


I'm hoping he gets it together and works his *** off this off-season and shows up to camp one of the best conditioned guy in camp.  


I still believe in the guy. But like I said this off season will be the tell all on Jake Virtanen in the NHL.

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