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Canuck Player Recap: Jake Virtanen

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This season is a good starting point for Jake

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Los Angeles Kings Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Who?

Jake Virtanen

Born: August 17, 1996 in New Westminster, BC

Pos: RW, Shoots: Right

Drafted 6th overall by Vancouver in 2014

Here are Jake’s number for his career:

hockey-reference.com
hockey-reference.com

If we all remember 2016-17, Jake was a shit show from the start and was promptly sent down to Utica by Willie. There were a lot of issues with Jake, starting with gliding back to the defensive end. Throw in a bad shoulder that took away from his physical game and his shooting, Jake had a rough year even in Utica. The bright side of Utica was that he got to learn from Travis Green, who funny enough, was soon to be the Canucks coach for this year.

Coming into this year Jake was saying all the right things as you can hear in this interview from August 2017.

But the results were slow to come again this year and by November, Jake was a healthy scratch. After getting scolded and Green pointing out to Jake that he had to be physical if the points weren’t coming, seemed to get Jake’s attention. Jake was 3rd on the team in hits and had many more takeaways than giveaways this year. I’m sure we would all like to see more goals from this guy. Jake has a deadly wrister on the fly, but he is going to have to continue to develop his below the goal line game and create chances of the give and go.

I’m not sure Jake will ever be a Bertuzzi type player, no matter Todd says. Jake doesn’t have the same mean streak. Jake’s ability to take the body and create turnovers might be the player we want in today’s NHL.

Highlights

Good to be the trailer

Quick shot

Great wheels

Jake takes out Kronwall

Game winner

Jake is going to get a new contract soon. The question is how much do you pay a guy that still has that “potential” tag around his neck. My guess is 2-3 years under $2 million per year.

I like the fact that Jake is getting is issues out at this young age. Hopefully he continues to work on his defensive game and stays physical without having to drop the gloves. I also hope he gets near the 20 goal mark this year.