Jake Virtanen

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Jake Virtanen
Jake Virtanen 10-2015.jpg
Virtanen with the Canucks in 2015
Born (1996-08-17) August 17, 1996 (age 22)
New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 226 lb (103 kg; 16 st 2 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shoots Right
NHL team Vancouver Canucks
NHL Draft 6th overall, 2014
Vancouver Canucks
Playing career 2015–present

Jake Virtanen (born August 17, 1996) is a Canadian professional ice hockey winger currently playing for the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). Virtanen was drafted by the Canucks sixth overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

Virtanen played junior hockey with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League (WHL) and has represented Canada five times in international competition at the 2013 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, 2013 U-18 Junior World Cup, 2014 IIHF World U18 Championships , 2015 IIHF World U20 Championships and 2016 IIHF World U20 Championships.

Early life[edit]

Virtanen was born August 17, 1996, in New Westminster, British Columbia, and spent his first 12 years living in Langley, British Columbia, before settling in nearby Abbotsford.[1][2] He attended Yale Secondary School, in Abbotsford, as well as the Yale Hockey Academy.[3] He played minor hockey in Abbotsford.[4] His father, Rainer, is originally from Finland.[4] Virtanen acquired jus sanguinis Finnish citizenship through his father.[2]

Playing career[edit]


As a member of the Abbotsford Hawks at the bantam level in 2010–11, Virtanen scored 68 goals and 117 points in 59 games.[5] As a 15-year-old, Virtanen spent most of the 2011–12 season in midget hockey with the Fraser Valley Bruins where he scored 39 points in 39 games and recorded 120 penalty minutes.[1]


The Western Hockey League (WHL)'s Calgary Hitmen selected Virtanen with the first overall pick at the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft.[4] He appeared in nine games for the Hitmen during the 2011–12 season and was a regular for Calgary in 2012–13. Virtanen scored 16 goals and 34 points in 62 games and began to establish himself as a highly ranked prospect for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.[5]

Virtanen at the 2014 CHL Top Prospects Game.

Returning to Calgary for his second full junior season, Virtanen nearly tripled his goal scoring total from the previous season and finished with 45 on the year. He added 26 assists to finish with 71 points.[1] The NHL Central Scouting Bureau ranked Virtanen as the ninth-best North American skater for the 2014 Draft at its midseason ranking and he played in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.[6]

Virtanen moved up three spots in NHL Central Scouting's year-end ranking and entered the Draft ranked sixth among North American skaters.[7] The Hockey News projected Virtanen to be a "pure goal scorer" in the NHL and ranked him 11th overall in its draft preview. The magazine praised both his physical ability and the quality shot, but added that he is not known as a playmaker and that his "hockey sense" required development.[1] He had shoulder surgery in May 2014 that was expected to sideline him until December 2014.[8]


Virtanen was selected 6th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks.[9] He was the first British Columbia born player selected in the first round by the Canucks since Cam Neely in 1983.[10] On July 25, 2014, Virtanen announced he had signed an entry-level contract with the Canucks.[11]

On May 5, 2015, Virtanen was assigned from Vancouver to the Canucks' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Utica Comets. On May 18, Game 6 of the 2015 Calder Cup playoffs' Western Conference Semifinals, Virtanen made his professional debut. He recorded two shots on goal in that game, in a 2–1 loss to the Oklahoma City Barons. On May 28, against the Grand Rapids Griffins in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, Virtanen earned his first professional point through an assist on a Sven Bärtschi goal.

On December 2, 2016, Virtanen scored his first professional goal with the Comets, the game's winner. [12]

On October 5, 2015, Virtanen was named to the Canucks' roster for the start of the 2015–16 season.[13] He made his NHL debut on October 13 in a 3–0 win over the Los Angeles Kings.[14] He earned his first NHL point (an assist) on a Derek Dorsett goal in a 5–1 win against the Montreal Canadiens.[15] On November 1, 2015, it was announced Virtanen and fellow rookie Jared McCann had made the Canucks' team past their nine-game "tryout" period. One day later, on November 2, Virtanen scored his first NHL goal, against goaltender Steve Mason of the Philadelphia Flyers at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.[16] After 4 points in 15 games, Virtanen's first NHL season was interrupted with an injury in December. After returning from injury, he was loaned to Hockey Canada for the 2016 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, and returned to the NHL afterwards.[17] On November 11, 2016, Canucks general manager Jim Benning announced Virtanen had been sent down to the Utica Comets. On November 13, he was recalled to the Canucks, but three days later, he was sent back down again—he had registered only 9 goals and 10 assists in 65 games with the Canucks.

Virtanen later managed to make the roster out of training camp in the 2017–18 season. He scored his first goal of the 2017–18 season away against the Detroit Red Wings.[18]

International play[edit]

Medal record
Representing  Canada
Men's ice hockey
IIHF World U18 Championship
Bronze medal – third place 2014 Finland
Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament
Gold medal – first place 2013 Czech Republic/Slovakia
IIHF World U20 Championship
Gold medal – first place 2015 Canada

Making his first appearance with the Canadian national team prior to the 2013–14 season, Virtanen joined the under-18 squad for the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Playing in a grinding role, Virtanen recorded one assist in five games as Canada won its sixth consecutive gold medal at the event, which culminated with a 4–0 victory over the United States.[19]

A first round exit from the WHL playoffs by Calgary allowed Virtanen to make a second appearance with the national team as he played in the 2014 IIHF World U18 Championships.[1] He tied for the team lead in scoring with six points to help lead the Canadians to a bronze medal at the event.[4]

At the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships in Helsinki, Virtanen had one assist in five games and led the Canada in penalty minutes at ten.[20] Canada was eliminated by the host Finland in the quarterfinal.[21]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2010–11 Abbotsford Hawks PCBHL 59 68 49 117
2011–12 Fraser Valley Bruins BCMML 39 17 22 39 120
2011–12 Calgary Hitmen WHL 9 3 1 4 4 5 0 0 0 4
2012–13 Calgary Hitmen WHL 62 16 18 34 67 15 2 4 6 27
2013–14 Calgary Hitmen WHL 71 45 26 71 100 6 1 3 4 4
2014–15 Calgary Hitmen WHL 50 21 31 52 82 14 5 8 13 28
2014–15 Utica Comets AHL 10 0 1 1 6
2015–16 Vancouver Canucks NHL 55 7 6 13 45
2015–16 Utica Comets AHL 2 0 0 0 0
2016–17 Vancouver Canucks NHL 10 0 1 1 2
2016–17 Utica Comets AHL 65 9 10 19 48
2017–18 Vancouver Canucks NHL 75 10 10 20 46
NHL totals 140 17 17 34 93


Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2013 Canada Pacific U17 5th 5 5 2 7 8
2013 Canada IH18 1st, gold medalist(s) 5 0 1 1 4
2014 Canada WJC18 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 7 3 3 6 10
2015 Canada WJC 1st, gold medalist(s) 7 1 3 4 4
2016 Canada WJC 6th 5 0 1 1 10
Junior totals 24 9 9 18 26


  1. ^ a b c d e "Top 60 prospects". The Hockey News Draft Preview 2014. 2014. p. 24. ISSN 0018-3016.
  2. ^ a b MacIntyre, Iain (June 24, 2014). "Abbotsford's Jake Virtanen stoked at idea of being a Canuck". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  3. ^ Yale Hockey Academy
  4. ^ a b c d Cruickshank, Scott (2014-05-02). "NHL draft to set Virtanen's future". Calgary Herald. p. D3.
  5. ^ a b Nugent-Bowman, Daniel (2013-10-28). "The two Jakes of Calgary". The Hockey News. p. 42. ISSN 0018-3016.
  6. ^ "Abbotsford's Jake Virtanen earns lofty ranking for NHL draft". Abbotsford News. 2014-01-13. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
  7. ^ "NHL CSS 2014 N. American skaters final rankings". National Hockey League. 2014-04-08. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
  8. ^ Ewen, Steve (August 1, 2014). "Time's flying, and so is newest Canuck Jake Virtanen". Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  9. ^ Kimmelman, Adam (2014-06-28). "Forwards dominate first round of 2014 NHL Draft". NHL.com. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  10. ^ MacIntyre, Iain (2014-06-24). "Abbotsford's Jake Virtanen stoked at idea of being a Canuck". Vancouver Sun. Vancouver. Retrieved 2014-09-04.
  11. ^ "Virtanen announces signing with Canucks via Twitter". NHL.com. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  12. ^ "Jake Virtanen Biography". theahl.com.
  13. ^ "Scouting the newbies". canucks.nhl.com. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  14. ^ "Canucks shutout Kings 3-0". National Hockey League. 2015-10-13. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  15. ^ "Canucks hand Canadiens first loss of season". Vancouver Canucks. 2015-10-23. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  16. ^ "Horvat, Canucks hand Flyers fourth consecutive loss". nhl.com. November 2, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  17. ^ "Virtanen loaned to Team Canada". Vancouver Canucks. December 13, 2015. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  18. ^ "Jake Virtanen". Hockey Reference.
  19. ^ Kinvig, Dan (2013-08-13). "Abbotsford's Virtanen wins gold with Team Canada". Abbotsford News. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
  20. ^ "Player Statistics by Team - Team Canada, 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships" (PDF). IIHF. January 2, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  21. ^ "Game Summary, Finland-Canada Quarterfinals, 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships" (PDF). IIHF. January 2, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2016.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Hunter Shinkaruk
Vancouver Canucks first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Jared McCann