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2014 NHL Draft Prospects Profiles: Jake Virtanen

Wednesday, 06.18.2014 / 1:31 AM / Features
By Matthew Bontorin
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2014 NHL Draft Prospects Profiles: Jake Virtanen
One of the most NHL-ready players in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft is 17-year-old forward Jake Virtanen. Virtanen has gained a reputation of being an elite scorer after netting 45 goals in 72 games this past season with the Calgary Hitmen of Canada\u2019s Western Hockey League. Virtanen has been known to have defensive lapses but his play in the offensive zone is dynamic. He won both the forwards and backwards skating skills competitions this past year at the 2014 Top Prospects Game in Calgary.

Jake Virtanen



Birthplace: New Westminster, British Columbia

Date of Birth/Age: Aug. 17, 1996 (17)

Current Team: Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

Position: Left Wing

Height: 6-1

Weight: 210 pounds

One of the most NHL-ready players in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft is 17-year-old forward Jake Virtanen. Virtanen has gained a reputation of being an elite scorer after netting 45 goals in 72 games this past season with the Calgary Hitmen of Canada’s Western Hockey League. Virtanen has been known to have defensive lapses but his play in the offensive zone is dynamic.

He won both the forwards and backwards skating skills competitions this past year at the 2014 Top Prospects Game in Calgary.

Aside from his skill and gaudy offensive output, Virtanen is far from just a pure scorer. He brings an element of size, toughness and edge every time he steps onto the ice. At 6-1, 210 pounds he racked up 100 penalty minutes in 72 games this season in Calgary.

Virtanen’s style of play has drawn many comparisons to New York Rangers forward Rick Nash.

“We're kind of identical players,” Virtanen said. “He likes to take the puck to the net. I think I'm a little more physical than that, I like to throw the body around."

Virtanen has been successful at the international level as well winning gold with Team Canada at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in the Czech Republic. He also helped Canada take home bronze at the 2014 Under-18 World Championship in Finland, tying for the team lead in points (3g-3a-6pts) in seven games.

Virtanen will be able to compete for an NHL roster spot as a rookie and because of that is expected to be taken somewhere in the top-15 of the first round.

Scout’s Comments:

“Jake has undeniable skill. Excellent skater who has speed, quickness and power. Can beat defenders with his skating and when he gets an advantage, his size makes it almost impossible for a defender to get back on equal footing. Very strong shot and can beat goaltenders from out but also has the quickness in his hands to score in tight. Has the potential to be a dynamic scoring winger.” - Craig Button, TSN Director of Scouting


Statistics

 Season

Team

League

GP

G

A

TP

PIM

    

Playoffs

GP

G

A

TP

PIM 

 2010-2011

Abbotsford Hawks Bantam A1

PCBHL

59

68

49

117

-

|

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yale Secondary Lions Blue

BCHSHL

1

1

1

2

0

|

 

 

 

 

 

 2011-2012

Fraser Valley Bruins

BCMML

39

17

22

39

120

|

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team British Columbia

WCCC-16

4

5

0

5

-

|

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calgary Hitmen

WHL

9

3

1

4

4

|

Playoffs

5

0

0

0

 

BCMML Sabres 1

U17 Cup

-

-

-

-

-

|

 

 

 

 

 

 2012-2013

Calgary Hitmen

WHL

62

16

18

34

67

|

Playoffs

15

2

4

6

27 

 

Canada Pacific U17

WHC-17

5

5

2

7

8

|

 

 

 

 

 

 2013-2014

Calgary Hitmen

WHL

71

45

26

71

100

|

Playoffs

6

1

3

4

 

Canada U18

Hlinka Memorial

5

0

1

1

4

|

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada U18

WJC-18

7

3

3

6

10

|

 

 

 

 

 

Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com


Combine Results:
Virtanen did not finish in the top-10 of any test.


Where Jake Virtanen is ranked:

NHL Central Scouting has him ranked sixth-best among North American skaters.
http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=712854

International Scouting Services have him ranked as the seventh-best overall player.
http://www.isshockey.com/

Future Considerations has him ranked as the 11th-best overall player.
http://futureconsiderations.ca/

Corey Pronman of ESPN has him ranked as the 11th-best overall player.
http://espn.go.com/

Craig Button of TSN has him ranked as the 43rd-best overall player.
http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=49649


Video:

Jake Virtanen 2013/14 WHL Highlights:



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