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(Discussion) Did the Canucks ruin Jake Virtanen's development by gifting him a spot on the team?

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8 hours ago, lmm said:

 

 

On the other hand, didn't Jake spend last offseason with Myers?

It would be interesting to get Myers to speak candidly, but I doubt that will ever happen

I think that right there shows that Virtanen was on a better path to learning the pro game. He was making changes to his short comings in previous seasons and working harder to become a true pro. Its a learning curve and he was showing signs of change. There was even that photo of him in a bar during COVID and everyone was flipping their lid and then the story came out that they rented the place privately, there was a very small select group of people and the drink in his hand was water and he refrained from alcohol that day.

Its been a long road for him to get the memo, but he has shown that he is learning and understanding as he is getting older. Its too bad his past has caught up with him

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It probably didn't help matters that he was gifted a spot in the lineup before he was ready, but it's difficult for me to believe that it was the sole reason for his never living up to expectations as a player.

 

It also needs to be noted that some I'd the allegations against him go back to his junior days (apparently), so this outcome was probably inevitable regardless.

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Do I think Jake was rushed into the NHL before he was ready? Yes.

 

Do I think that's why he didn't succeed? No.

 

Ultimately, despite his natural talents he has clearly never had the commitment to be an NHL player. He never showed up to training camp in shape. Not a single one. It doesn't take long before coaches don't want to give you opportunities when you consistently fail to meet minimum expectations. His demise is his own doing.

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On 7/26/2021 at 9:27 PM, Bounce000 said:

Lets start with the draft. The top 5 picks of the 2017 draft were pretty much a lock, then we had the Canucks at #6. Canucks fans wanted either Virtanen, Ehlers, Nylander, or Ritchie if I recall. Canucks take Virtanen because of the package he brings, skating is his biggest attribute, but there was also his shot and physicality. What the scouts said his biggest weakness was is his Hockey IQ, which you could see a little bit in his draft year stats (only 26 assists in 71 games). Now, if there are only two things that scouts are allowed to look at to determine whether a hockey player has what it takes, it's skating (check!) and hockey IQ (big fat nope). But that's okay, maybe a lightbulb will go off in his head when he turns pro and gets better coaching. 

 

In his draft plus one year he puts similar numbers, assists go up and that's about it. I'm not sure if the Hitmen were worse that year or not. But I think this was the first red flag, no growth in the numbers. Do you think a 5th round pick who puts up around the same point-per-game numbers would get a second look by the team that drafted him? I think not. He does however have a pretty good World Juniors that year on a stacked team with McDavid.

 

Next year is the year he makes the team along with fellow first rounder McCann. Yes, the team was horrible, and yes, the fan base was starved to watch some young talent finally. But I just can't help but believe that those two players made the team just based on that second reason. Virtanen gets 13 points in 55 games, obviously not Calder winning numbers or even super impressive numbers, but at least he contributed somewhat on a horrible team and power forwards do take longer to groom, that's fine. What was concerning that year was Virtanen's World Junior performance that year. If you're an NHL player playing in a tournament with teenagers playing against other teenagers for the most part, you are expected to dominate, and most NHL junior players have indeed dominated and were leaders (Barret Hayden and Maxime Comtois for example). Again, you're playing in the NHL but you can't even stand out among your own age group playing multiple of tiers down. This is when I believed Jake should have been sent down for his final junior year, I know it would have burned a year on his ELC but hey, you made a wrong decision, best rectify it. But nope, Jake plays out his year on the Canucks.

 

The next season Jake plays pretty much full time in the AHL. I can't say I've ever seen a young player play a full NHL season, and then a full AHL season without a lockout. It's not like the Canucks were any better (You could maybe argue worst). Jake puts up 19 points in 65 AHL games, no where near good enough to play in the NHL. Lind and Gadjovich put up similar number in their first AHL years, but stayed and now they're pretty much PPG players at that level. Again, you should be able to DOMINATE the level you are playing at before you should move up.

 

Now we come to the 2018 NHL season where Jake becomes a mainstay on the Canucks, I don't 100% remember but I'm willing to bet money that he played pretty much every single pre-season game. I can't remember him doing anything special to make the team but he did it anyways. Jake puts up very similar numbers from his first season a couple years back (again, where's the growth? You're two years older now).

 

As the seasons go by, Jake showed flashes of his potential but couldn't make it consistent. His lack of hockey smarts was very evident as he was just a giveaway waiting to happen. Maybe gifted him a roster spot early in his career was the worst thing that could happen. Maybe he got complacent and decided not to work hard to get better (He did show up to training camp fat... Twice.) I was on the Jake Virtanen hype train for the longest time up until this season, and that included the bubble playoffs where he was invisible most of the time. Benning pinned this year's success so much on Virtanen and Gaudette taking strides in their development, instead they went backwards and are now no longer on the team.

 

So, in your opinion do you think the Canucks could have done better to alter Jake's development, or do you think he was a lost cause from the get-go and we all just didn't know it yet? Or perhaps he'll explode and become the player we all hoped he'd be on a different team?

When Jake was brought up to Canucks there was talk that the Canucks weren't happy with his development on the Hitmen so they brought him up early.

I suspect that it wasn't so much the on ice development. 

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On 7/26/2021 at 8:46 PM, Iron Fist said:

Jake is off to being a journeyman for the rest of his career hopefully he finds a home like Kassian did if not who cares, He's yesterdays news here

When Jake the Ripper finishes serving his time - he should consider the KHL or some other distant hockey league where no one knows him.  A fresh start in Siberia would be best for him to shake him out of his fog and smarten him up.

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Jake Virtanen's development was ruined by somebody named Jake Virtanen.  Like a lot of other big kids who developed early hand-eye coordination he never had to work for any roster spot in his hockey career until he got to the NHL, and then the idea of working hard for your spot seemed alien to him.  He racked up 34 points in his first full season with the hitmen, and mouths were watering.  Jake was always a big fish until he got to the NHL, where pretty much EVERYBODY has been a big fish in their previous league or on their last team.  The ones who succeed are those that figure out how to structure their life around being a big fish in the big pond.  Those next level guys take their fitness seriously year-round, they train hard in the summer, they eat properly and do their best to maintain muscle mass during the season, they are always working on their game, sharpening their skills, working on their flaws.  Jake had maybe the best role model in the league in the same dressing room, Bo Horvat.  When Bo was drafted, he was seen as a quality two-way player with leadership potential who never took a shift off.  His major fault was skating.  Recognizing this shortcoming, Bo worked with a skate coach, and rectified that to turn himself into one of the best two-way players in the league.  Bo works his tail off in the off-season, working on strength and conditioning, getting better every year.  Jake was arguably more talented than Bo coming out of Junior, he was certainly a better skater, but because he never had to work hard, he never understood what it took to improve, as shown when he came to his first full season training camp very fat and out of shape, and claimed he misunderstood the coaching staff who suggested he bulk up a little in the off-season...moron with a million dollar body and a ten cent head.  

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To be honest the numbers from 19-20 are more or less how I expected Jake to turn out. 20 goals, 40 points over 80 games with around 100+ hits. Based on 82 games he was at 21 goals, 42 points and 121 hits. And at 23 years old. I didn't expect his crash in play last year plus the sexual assault allegations. 

I was never really that high on Jake but a guy who can pot 20-25 with speed and can hit is a nice player to have on the roster. Ehlers was by far the better choice at the time but if he busted and ended up like a Mason Raymond type of player the fan based would have been outraged if Jake turned into a physical, 25 goal per year winger who was a local boy and we passed. 

 

My choices were Ehlers, Nylander, Ritchie and then Jake. I actually thought trading down a few spots would have made sense as guys like Tuch and Larkin were also intriguing. 

I get why Jake was selected but there were a lot of red flags even then. 

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Honestly look at the guy and his history. Do you really think Canucks ruined him?? No way. 

 

You hear about all the  # worst crew ever BS with Jake and all his partying and womanizing i'd say Jake screwed Jake, nothing more, nothing less. 

 

His performance and whether or not we ruined it on the ice doesn't matter to me. It's the guy, his character and what he's done that I care about. And those things you can only be responsible for yourself.

 

Why are some here concerned about his damn hockey career with everything else that's going on with him??...this is what the OP is worried about? His development?

 

Whatever, he should learn to be a decent human being first plain and simple.

 

#JakescrewedJake

 

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On 7/26/2021 at 8:46 PM, stawns said:

they ruined his development by always giving the stick and never giving the carrot.  He improved every year, despite being given unfavourable icetime and starts.  He never complained, he just went out and did what they asked him to do and was never, ever rewarded.  I like Green, but he ruined what could have been a dominant player

you really think virtanen would be a star player? He had character issues even before his draft and he was picked too high. The Canucks didnt ruin him since he never had a good hockey IQ and probably general IQ for that matter with what he has done off ice. He never was and never will be a dominant player. Also how come Hoglander, Hughes, Boeser and Pettersson become dominant under Green while Virtanen did not? 

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24 minutes ago, Attila Umbrus said:

Honestly look at the guy and his history. Do you really think Canucks ruined him?? No way. 

 

You hear about all the  # worst crew ever BS with Jake and all his partying and womanizing i'd say Jake screwed Jake, nothing more, nothing less. 

 

His performance and whether or not we ruined it on the ice doesn't matter to me. It's the guy, his character and what he's done that I care about. And those things you can only be responsible for yourself.

 

Why are some here concerned about his damn hockey career with everything else that's going on with him??...this is what the OP is worried about? His development?

 

Whatever, he should learn to be a decent human being first plain and simple.

 

#JakescrewedJake

 

That's bang on. Like I've said on many Jake forums "Million dollar skills. Ten-cent head." 

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