HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > NHL Western Conference > Pacific Division > Vancouver Canucks
Mobile Hockey's Future Become a Sponsor Site Rules Support Forum vBookie Page 2
Notices

6th Overall - Jake Virtanen UPDATE: Signed to 3-Year ELC

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old
06-28-2014, 07:55 PM
  #1
JetsAlternate
Registered User
 
JetsAlternate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,205
vCash: 500
6th Overall - Jake Virtanen UPDATE: Signed to 3-Year ELC

For those unaware of the kind of player Jake Virtanen is, the simplest way to describe him is as a bulldozer, a physical menace who overwhelms the opposition with his speed, acceleration and size, who powers through the opposition, hits hard, drives the net relentlessly and has a tremendous shot. He fits the description of a power forward, of a pure goal scorer, of a truly intimidating presence on the ice. I thought I'd share this collection of articles and some footage that I feel illustrate the kind of player he is and the player he can become for the Canucks in the future.

Keep the publication dates in mind as well.
Quote:
Langley's Jake Virtanen taking a star turn with Hitmen
Pap, Elliott. The Vancouver Sun [Vancouver, B.C] 23 Oct 2013: C.2.

Virtanen is a right winger with the WHL's Calgary Hitmen. He has size, a scoring touch and a mean streak. It's an intoxicating package and why he's touted to be a top 10 selection on June 27. Virtanen is no late bloomer either. He was the first overall pick in the 2011 bantam draft. Hockey people have had their eyes on him for a while.

"He's fast, big and intense and has all the intangibles to be a star," said Vancouver Giants general manager Scott Bonner, whose team plays host Wednesday to Virtanen and the Hitmen in a 7 p.m. start at Pacific Coliseum. "I watched him when he was young and he used to be able to outmuscle people and score. Sometimes there is a change when young guys switch to visors and play against older guys but, in his case, it's been a seamless transition."

...

Virtanen, as the name suggests, is of Finnish heritage. His dad was born in Finland and moved to Canada at age six, moved back for some of his teenage years and then moved back again... "When I was younger, my mom and dad and my grandpa were pretty big into hockey," Jake said. "I remember they would bring me to public skating when I was two or three and I think my dad told me I was a natural skater. I was pretty much a rink rat. I always wanted to go to the rink and watch hockey and watch my brother play."

Virtanen split his minor hockey days between Langley, where he started, and then Abbotsford after the family moved there when Jake was entering Grade 7 and his second year of peewee.

...

"I am trying to keep the draft stuff in the back of my mind, but I do think about it a little bit," Virtanen admitted. "Obviously it's a big year. I'm just trying to focus on Hitmen hockey and going far in the playoffs. That's really important. In my opinion, team success comes first and then individual success and points and all that will come, right?" Wednesday's game won't be Virtanen's first at the Coliseum. He played the Giants as a 15-year-old call-up on Jan. 5, 2012 and scored his first WHL goal on Adam Morrison in a 6-4 Hitmen victory. He also played at the Coliseum last season.

"It's still special for me," he said. "My friends, my family and my grandparents can come and watch, so that's pretty cool."
Quote:
Five players to watch
Calgary Herald [Calgary, Alta] 20 Mar 2014: B.10.

...

Jake Virtanen, LW, Calgary Hitmen... The Skinny: A solid playoff from the 18-year-old power forward could cement his status as a top 10 selection in June's NHL Entry Draft ... Brings equal amounts of crash and flash to the table and can really do it all, possessing a cannon of a shot, a punishing 6-1, 210-pound frame and the instincts and chops to hurt the opposition on the scoresheet ... Scored four goals and four assists in eight games against Kootenay this season ... Had two goals and six points in 15 playoffgames last season.

...
Quote:
Abby's Jake Virtanen highly touted for 2014 NHL Entry Draft
Kinvig, Dan. The News [Abbotsford, B.C] 26 Sep 2013: A.21.

The 2014 NHL entry draft is still nine months away, with plenty still to be decided, but it's shaping up to be a big day for Abbotsford native Jake Virtanen.

The 17-year-old left winger was front and centre as several preliminary draft ranking lists were released last week.

Virtanen was ranked No. 4 overall by International Scouting Services , and he was No. 6 on TSN's list of the top draft-eligible prospects.

NHL's Central Scouting, which releases a "ones to watch" list at this stage of the season rather than a traditional ranking, had Virtanen rated as an 'A' skater - one of just 23 players to receive the 'A' designation.

Virtanen, who is listed at 6'1" and 210 pounds, is projected as a prototypical power forward with a hard shot and elite skating ability.

...
Quote:
Hitmen's Virtanen one of top prospects
Calgary Herald [Calgary, Alta] 15 Nov 2013: E.8.

Calgary Hitmen power forward Jake Virtanen is one of eight players from the Western Hockey League who were given 'A' status by NHL Central Scouting on their November watch list released Thursday.

...
Quote:
Great expectations for Hitmen rookie Virtanen
Kinvig, Dan. The News [Abbotsford, B.C] 25 Sep 2012: A.21.

Conventional wisdom holds that 16-year-old rookies don't often make an instant impact in the Western Hockey League, arguably the toughest junior circuit on the planet... But it took just one memorable play to convince Jake Virtanen that he could be an exception to the rule... Last season, the right winger from Abbotsford was called up by the Calgary Hitmen for a game against the Vancouver Giants at Pacific Coliseum.

Just past the midway point of the first period, he carried the puck out of his own zone and shifted into high gear. Giants centre Cain Franson met him at the blue line, but Virtanen treated him like a pylon, weaving to the outside.

Vancouver defenceman Brett Kulak tried to cut him off along the boards at the red line, but Virtanen slipped the puck under his stick and blew by him to the inside. Then he beat another Giants D-man, Wes Vannieuwenhuizen, to the front of the net, and snapped a glove-side shot past goalie Adam Morrison.

An end-to-end rush like that requires a preposterous skill set, and the play was all the more remarkable considering the youngster was just 15 at the time, ineligible to play full-time in the WHL.

"Something like that really catches your eye," Hitmen coach Mike Williamson told The News this week, reflecting on the goal, which made the WHL's plays of the week... "He's got an incredible set of skills. His acceleration and his ability to go from almost a dead stop to full speed, and his change of gears is something you don't see in a lot of players."

Virtanen, who notched three goals and an assist in nine regular season games with the Hitmen last season, is perhaps the most promising 16-year-old hockey prospect Abbotsford has ever produced, befitting his status as the first overall pick in the 2011 WHL bantam draft .

A headline in the Calgary Herald last week - "Super rookie Virtanen embarks on full-time WHL duty" - captured the level of expectation he's facing this fall.

...
Quote:
Virtanen virtually there; NHL bound: WHL coach calls Abbotsford product 'pretty special'
Ewen, Steve. The Province [Vancouver, B.C] 24 Oct 2013: A.48.

...

He's already a 6-foot-1, 210-pound powerhouse. He can steamroll opponents or he can make them look like they're skating in mush.

There were people at the Coliseum Wednesday talking about the end-to-end goal the he scored against the Giants as a 15-year-old call-up, and that was Jan. 4, 2012.

Calgary coach Mike Williamson insists that he hasn't seen a player in the WHL with Virtanen's physical attributes at such a young age, and Williamson started out coaching in the league as a Portland Winterhawk assistant in 1995-96 after winding up his Portland playing career.

Williamson had Braydon Coburn when he was a man-child defenceman with the Winterhawks and that situation may be somewhat comparable. Coburn, 28, was the eighth overall pick of the 2003 NHL draft, and has played over 500 NHL games to date.

"Jake's speed and his strength on his skates and how he shoots the puck ... you don't see 16-, 17-yearold players capable of doing that," he said. "He's an extremely dynamic player. He has a lot to learn about the game, like a lot of guys that age have to, but his pure physical skill is pretty special."

...
Quote:
Local draft prospects excite; Reinhart, Virtanen among standouts in deep draft class
Botchford, Jason. The Province [Vancouver, B.C] 01 June 2014: A.53.

...

Virtanen, who is from Abbotsford and scored 45 goals with the Calgary Hitmen this season, showed up for his interviews in a shoulder sling.

He had shoulder surgery 10 days ago and his recovery is expected to take four to six months.

Many assumed this would impact his draft slot, long believed to be in the six to 10 range of the first round.

But that hasn't happened.

In fact, the idea that Brian Burke and the Calgary Flames are considering taking him at the No. 4 spot is gaining traction.

That would be going off the board a little bit for the Flames, but if there's one team executive expected to do something odd in the top four it's Burke.

...
Quote:
Prospect hopes to 'Finnish' entry draft with NHL signing; Virtanen, 17, says it would be 'pretty cool' to play in Vancouver
Pap, Elliott. The Vancouver Sun [Vancouver, B.C] 31 May 2014: F.7.

...

Virtanen, 17, scored 45 goals and collected 71 points for the Hitmen in 71 regular-season games. He also picked up 100 minutes in penalties and was a plus-23. At 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, he has NHL size but he won't be ready to start next season in either the WHL or NHL after undergoing major shoulder surgery two weeks ago. Virtanen spent this past week at the NHL scouting combine in Toronto where he interviewed with 24 teams, including the Vancouver Canucks. Barring a trade, the Canucks will pick sixth. Virtanen is rated the sixth best North American skater by Central Scouting, 10th overall by the International Scouting Service and 11th overall by The Hockey News. He is considered a north-south power forward and a pure goal scorer.

...
Quote:
Virtanen has Hitmen flying high
Dheensaw, Cleve. Times - Colonist [Victoria, B.C] 04 Feb 2014: B.5.

The sporting week started out well for Jake Virtanen.

"I grew up a Seahawks fan," said the Abbotsford raised budding Western Hockey League star.

Virtanen hopes that winning vibe continues into this week as he returns to his home province as the Calgary Hitmen take on the Victoria Royals tonight and Wednesday at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre in an inter-conference matchup of two teams given honourable mention in the last CHL national top-10 poll.

As the ninth-rated North American skater in Central Scouting's mid-season rankings for the 2014 NHL draft, Virtanen has a lot on his mind as the WHL season hurtles into the home stretch. But he said personal and team success are inter-locked.

"The farther you go as a team, the better it is for your individual status," said Virtanen, who leads Calgary with 32 goals.

"So the focus for me is on Hitmen hockey. That's the biggest thing."

The individual glory flows from that.

"I try not to worry about it [draft] too much," said the six-foot-one Virtanen.

"There's still a lot of stuff I need to improve on to become an all-around player. It's the little details."

...

"Jake is a dynamic player, but as with any 17-year-old player, he still needs to learn some things about the game," said Williamson.


Virtanen compares his style of play to Rick Nash, albeit with greater physicality and greater intensity. Virtanen's ceiling is probably lower than Nash's (Rick scored 40+ goals only twice in his career and 70+ points just once), but we're talking about a sixth-overall pick, so I wouldn't rule out Jake being a 30+ goal scorer in his prime. I can see some similarities based on the footage reel above:



http://predators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=722475
Quote:
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."

...

“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
Here's a highlight reel of some of Nash's goals from his time in Columbus. They're the same kinds of goals we see in the Virtanen reel. We haven't had a player of that type in quite some time. Others have compared him to Evander Kane. I prefer to compare him stylistically to rookie Alex Ovechkin. Some scouts have made the comparison, and I too explored this later in this thread:

Stylistically comparable to Ovechkin?

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...&postcount=247
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetsAlternate View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by arsmaster View Post
Two WHL scouts have likened his style to Ovy for awhile.
Let's take a closer look at that. It's very possible Virt, stylistically, could be a bit like rookie Ovechkin. Ovechkin played a quick, physical, tough game, and had a tremendous rush game. He was explosive and powerful. That said, Ovechkin had all sorts of tools to succeed, not only his physical maturity, speed and shot. Ovechkin had magnificent hands and an incredible one-timer (skills he still uses frequently to this day); while charging down the ice, he could deke around players with relative ease. The comparison is not entirely perfect. That is, unless I am underestimating Jake's hands.

I documented Ovechkin's rookie season in this video. Some aspects are similar in the way they play on the rush. Let's make the safe and obvious assumption that Virtanen's strengths are not to the same degree as Ovechkin's, but let's not discredit everything Jake has to offer. I still project Virtanen as a consistent 30+ goal scorer in his prime.

A member of these boards who has watched Jake extensively, CanaFan, agreed with this observation.

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...&postcount=249
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanaFan View Post
I like this comparison as a _style_ comparison and have made it a few times myself. The fear I have with such a comparison is that it invites criticism of _over-hyping_ Virtanen with such a lofty comparable. Still I agree that as long as your caution is made clear (strengths not to same level as OV) this is a useful style comparison to show how JV _could_ play at the NHL level and further that this type of playstyle can be quite effective, despite the naysayers. Now the question will of course be can a "lower" level of Ovie's style be effective or is there a threshold where it doesn't work at all. I don't think there is - I think Virtanen will get his goals, just in the 30's instead of the 50's like Ovie - but I suppose it is a fair question to acknowledge.

Anyway, thanks for the video support. Sure takes me back to Ovie's early days when he truly was the most exciting player in the NHL, Crosby included.
Plenty of people anticipated the Canucks would draft a speedy, explosive skater who could excite fans and play a high-tempo, electrifying game. Jake Virtanen is exactly that. He is a physical specimen who can absolutely fly; he is incredibly quick and explosive. He is aggressive, attacks the net with the puck, plays a relentless game.

The team has lacked game-breaking talent, and Virtanen offers that in a very impressive overall package. He has terrific straight-line speed and acceleration, displays physical dominance, has a good offensive skill set and demonstrates a high level of intensity; he considers himself a goal scorer. That combination of size, speed/acceleration and physicality, in addition to his instincts and skill set as a pure goal scorer, make him a fearsome power forward who could become, in his prime, one of the most intimidating, respected forwards on the ice. Furthermore, he is one of the youngest players in this year's draft and may only continue to improve.

I've provided an alternative player example, which I believe also fits very well:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetsAlternate View Post
Perhaps one could compare Virtanen also to Owen Nolan. In fact, some scouts compared Alex Ovechkin to Owen Nolan prior to his selection. Nolan had size, speed, and was tremendously physical. He played a very similar style as well, and was chosen for his toughness over some other highly-touted, arguably more-skilled players. Hockey Reference records his height/weight as 6'1'', 214 lbs.

Nolan was not selected to be a part of the World Junior roster in his draft year. Some criticized his hockey sense.





Quote:
Shooting star; Owen Nolan is no longer a secret: [Final Edition]
Mayoh, Rick. The Ottawa Citizen [Ottawa, Ont] 17 Mar 1990: E1.

...

Just two years ago, Nolan was skating in obscurity, playing bantam A in Thorold, near Welland. He was rated 259th at one point prior to the OHL draft... No offence to Thorold, but Nolan literally jumped out of nowhere to become a leading candidate to battle Peterborough Petes centre Mike Ricci for first-overall NHL draft status.

...

This season, despite a shoulder injury that knocked Nolan out of the lineup for six games, five of which the Royals lost, he still scored 51 goals while piling up 240 minutes in penalties.

It's that rare combination of scoring touch and mean streak that attracts the scouts' attention... The punishing 6-2, 190-pounder -- he turned 18 last month -- also received a lot of notice from OHL coaches, who ranked him near the top of several categories in their annual poll.

He was selected best body checker in the Leyden Division, ahead of Oshawa's Eric Lindros, and tied with Ricci for best shot.

He trailed Ricci as most dangerous in the goal area and was third as best and fastest skater.

...

Nolan's agent, Gene McBurney, first saw him in Thorold at a conditioning camp for juniors and pros run by a friend.

"I said 'This is a bantam?' I went to watch him and the kid just blew me away, the way he took the body, the way he had the fire in the belly," said McBurney... "He goes into the corner, takes the man out, comes out with the puck and likes to carry it up. He really likes playing physically... He has a linebacker mentality, he won't be a quarterback."

...

Ellen Nolan said the OHL's Central Scouting Bureau first listed her son a year younger than he was, causing confusion about his eligibility. But Central Scouting wasn't particularly impressed with Nolan, anyway, finally rating him in the seventh round... The Royals took him in the second round after claiming John Slaney, now the league's top-scoring defenceman. Nolan, Slaney and 1989 first-round defenceman Rod Pasma could all go in the first round of June's NHL draft.

"People said we were ruining our draft by taking 16-year-olds in the first two rounds," said Tessier, who had the last laugh.

Last season, Nolan scored 34 goals and 25 assists, had 213 penalty minutes and was the Royals' first OHL rookie of the year...The pros like what they see.
Quote:
OWEN NOLAN: MACHO FANTASY: [1* Edition]
Banks, David. The Province [Vancouver, B.C] 12 June 1990: 40.

...

The total package begins with soft hands and hard knuckles.

Owen Nolan may not become an NHL superstar, but right now he's the ultimate NHL macho fantasy: Gloves on, he can beat you with a game-winning slapshot; gloves off, he can knock you out.

"He's not only a great skater and great scorer, he's adept with his fists," says his Cornwall Royals coach and former Vancouver Canucks winger Marc Crawford. "He's got a mean streak in him like a Mark Messier.

"He's compared physically to a (Cam) Neely or a (Rick) Tocchet, but his mean streak is different. I remember getting hit by Messier and Owen does the same thing to other players."

...

The hardest part of the business - especially in a year with such depth at the top end of the draft - is to project what kind of players, and men, these 18-year-olds will become. The degree of difficulty seems to increase in direct proportion to the size of the players.

Neely and Tocchet, the players Nolan is most often compared to, are good examples. The scouts liked Neely as a junior - he was drafted ninth overall in 1983 - but after a couple of years with the Canucks no one ever thought he would develop into a sniper... In Tocchet's case, the scouts weren't thrilled with his potential at all. He lasted until the sixth round in 1983 despite a tantalizing combination of 32 goals and 146 penalty minutes... Both players have made it big.

...

"I certainly think he rises to the level of his competition," says Crawford. "Up to this point he's surpassed whatever challenge has been given to him... The one thing you worry about with a young kid is if he might not handle the physical side and lose his confidence. I don't think that's a problem with Owen. He has to become more consistent and that comes with maturity... The best pros are the strongest mentally and he doesn't have the mental toughness of a third- or fourth-year player, nor should he. The only OHL player with that kind of mental toughness is Mike Ricci."... But then, Crawford says Nolan has something Ricci doesn't.

"He's a little bigger, a little stronger and a little faster," says Crawford. "It's the package that makes him so attractive."
Quote:
Nolan likely first in NHL entry draft: [3* Edition]
Beamish, Mike. The Vancouver Sun [Vancouver, B.C] 16 Feb 1990: D1.

...

Owen Nolan III, a hot-tempered Irishman who has the ability to scrunch, punch and score goals, may be the most complete player available in the 1990 NHL entry draft... Peterborough centre Mike Ricci, Nolan and Seattle centre Petr Nedved are the top three prospects on the NHL Central Scouting Bureau's preliminary rankings. If the Canucks hold their 20th-place ranking to the end of the season, they'll get to pick second in the draft behind the Quebec Nordiques... Ricci, the consensus choice to be the No. 1 pick a year ago, has been bothered by a shoulder injury this season and has slipped a bit in the estimation of some scouts.

Nolan's stock appears to be on the rise, and the Nordiques are said to be leaning toward the native of Northern Ireland... It's not hard to see why. Scouts think Nolan is a complete package. Former Canuck Marc Crawford, who is Nolan's coach with Cornwall Royals of the Ontario Hockey League, suggests the 17-year-old right winger has the potential to be better than Neely, an ex-teammate of Crawford's.

"Owen's temperament is such that he goes out and goes after people," said Crawford in a interview. "He tries to exploit the fact that he's tougher than people and he does a very good job of it. He realizes that this is one of his tools."

In his second season in the OHL, Nolan jumped directly from the Thorold, Ont., bantams to become an impact player and the OHL's rookie of the year last season. At 6'1 1/2 ", 195 pounds, he is second in OHL scoring this season with 45 goals and 58 assists in 52 games. But just as impressive are his league-leading penalty totals - 229 minutes.

The kid is mean. Surely, the gentlemanly Canucks wouldn't have room on their roster for such a bad boy.

"Are you kidding?" asks Canuck coach Bob McCammon, with eyebrows arched.

Crawford, who gets to coach Nolan and coach against Ricci, says both players clearly are the pick of the OHL crop this season. Centre Kevin Primeau of Niagara Falls and North Bay defenceman Derian Hatcher, the younger brother of the Washington Capitals' Kevin Hatcher, are other blue-chip prospects who are a cut below Ricci and Nolan, according to Crawford.

"Ricci's got the intangibles," Crawford says. "He's a great leader. He has the ability to bring the kids on his team up to a higher level. Owen's more of an individual, a guy who tries to lift the team up with his play."

...
Of course, the sixth to tenth selections of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft could very well play out in a way that the top five picks in 1990 did:
Quote:
Nolan a Nord as puck picks don't surprise: [1* Edition]
Banks, David. The Province [Vancouver, B.C] 17 June 1990: 72.

When the NHL's dramatic first round was finally put on stage, it went a lot simpler than most imagined.

Owen Nolan, the projected first pick in this year's Entry Draft, went first to the Quebec Nordiques. As suggested in most speculation, the Nordiques couldn't resist Nolan's toughness and talent.

In the only mild surprise, the Vancouver Canucks couldn't resist Petr Nedved's rare skill. Keith Primeau (to Detroit), Mike Ricci (Philadelphia) and Jaromir Jagr (Pittsburgh) followed in natural order.

Everybody, genuinely, seemed happy.

...
Sound familiar?





To me, Nolan and Ovechkin are probably the two most comparable players stylistically.
Quote:
Meet the next Pavel Bure: Alexander Ovechkin has all the moves, and his favourite NHL player is Owen Nolan Series: The Summit Series: Russia's Legacy: [Final Edition]
Mason, Gary. The Vancouver Sun [Vancouver, B.C] 13 Nov 2002: A5.

...

"I've always loved to play physical," Ovechkin says, as the van stops at a red light. "Ever since I was young. My favourite player in the NHL is Owen Nolan of the San Jose Sharks... He plays tough every night. That's the way I like to play."

...

"It would be something to play against Owen Nolan," Ovechkin says. "That would be a dream come true. I'm not sure I'd want to go in the corners with him though."
Next year Jake will return to the WHL and continue to develop; due to his age advantage (he turns 18 on August 17), Canucks fans should have him on their radar for the 2015-16 NHL season. If he was born a month later, he would have been eligible for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft instead. The organization has looked for a high-end power forward for a long time, and they have one now in Virtanen.

He is a freight train. Those who wanted an exciting player at sixth overall should be extremely happy with Virtanen. He is the type of player the Canucks have needed for a long, long time.




Quote:
Works Cited

Banks, David. "Nolan a Nord as Puck Picks Don't Surprise." The Province: 72. Jun 17 1990. ProQuest. Web. 2 July 2014 .

Banks, David. "OWEN NOLAN: MACHO FANTASY." The Province: 40. Jun 12 1990. ProQuest. Web. 2 July 2014 .

Beamish, Mike. "Nolan Likely First in NHL Entry Draft." The Vancouver Sun: 0. Feb 16 1990. ProQuest. Web. 2 July 2014 .

Botchford, Jason. "Local Draft Prospects Excite; Reinhart, Virtanen among Standouts in Deep Draft Class." The Province. Jun 01 2014. ProQuest. Web. 28 June 2014 .

Dheensaw, Cleve. "Virtanen has Hitmen Flying High." Times - Colonist. Feb 04 2014. ProQuest. Web. 28 June 2014 .

Ewen, Steve. "Virtanen Virtually there; NHL Bound: WHL Coach Calls Abbotsford Product 'Pretty Special'." The Province. Oct 24 2013. ProQuest. Web. 28 June 2014 .

"Five Players to Watch." Calgary Herald. Mar 20 2014. ProQuest. Web. 28 June 2014 .

"Hitmen's Virtanen One of Top Prospects." Calgary Herald. Nov 15 2013. ProQuest. Web. 28 June 2014 .

Kinvig, Dan. "Abby's Jake Virtanen Highly Touted for 2014 NHL Entry Draft." The News. Sep 26 2013. ProQuest. Web. 28 June 2014 .

Kinvig, Dan. "Great Expectations for Hitmen Rookie Virtanen." The News. Sep 25 2012. ProQuest. Web. 28 June 2014 .

Mason, Gary. "Meet the Next Pavel Bure: Alexander Ovechkin has all the Moves, and His Favourite NHL Player is Owen Nolan Series: The Summit Series: Russia's Legacy." The Vancouver Sun: 0. Nov 13 2002. ProQuest. Web. 2 July 2014 .

Mayoh, Rick. "Shooting Star; Owen Nolan is no Longer a Secret." The Ottawa Citizen: 0. Mar 17 1990. ProQuest. Web. 2 July 2014 .

Pap, Elliott. "Langley's Jake Virtanen Taking a Star Turn with Hitmen." The Vancouver Sun. Oct 23 2013. ProQuest. Web. 28 June 2014 .

Pap, Elliott. "Prospect Hopes to 'Finnish' Entry Draft with NHL Signing; Virtanen, 17, Says it would be 'Pretty Cool' to Play in Vancouver." The Vancouver Sun. May 31 2014. ProQuest. Web. 28 June 2014 .


Last edited by JetsAlternate: 07-04-2014 at 06:59 PM. Reason: title
JetsAlternate is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:02 PM
  #2
Rex Banner
Mr Logic
 
Rex Banner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 809
vCash: 500
This kid is going to be a stud.

Rex Banner is online now  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:05 PM
  #3
gobi
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Paradise, BC
Country: Canada
Posts: 1,506
vCash: 500
I think we should be able to see him play in the 2016 season.

gobi is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:08 PM
  #4
Sharpshooter
Registered User
 
Sharpshooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 8,885
vCash: 550
Looking forward to the day he puts on a Canucks uni.

Kid's gonna be a beaut.

Sharpshooter is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:09 PM
  #5
Iridescent*
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,785
vCash: 500
Horrid pick that will look completely ridiculous in 5 years

Iridescent* is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:11 PM
  #6
DennisReynolds
the implication
 
DennisReynolds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 5,124
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iridescent View Post
Horrid pick that will look completely ridiculous in 5 years
How many games have you watched him play to have such a strong opinion?

DennisReynolds is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:16 PM
  #7
Spamhuis
Registered User
 
Spamhuis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Calgary
Country: Canada
Posts: 2,029
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iridescent View Post
Horrid pick that will look completely ridiculous in 5 years
What will look ridiculous is we passed on Willie nylander while virtanens plumbing his skills on our third line

Spamhuis is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:17 PM
  #8
Zombotron
Fuddle Your Duddle
 
Zombotron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Cascadia
Country: Canada
Posts: 5,433
vCash: 500
A well-spoken, nice individual off the ice and a wee bit of a ****-disturber on it (glove-tapping the opposition bench LOL). I wanted Nylander but Virts is gonna be awesome and I'm sold on him.

Zombotron is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:21 PM
  #9
Mitts McCann
Registered User
 
Mitts McCann's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
Posts: 3,409
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombotron View Post
A well-spoken, nice individual off the ice and a wee bit of a ****-disturber on it (glove-tapping the opposition bench LOL). I wanted Nylander but Virts is gonna be awesome and I'm sold on him.
Yeah elite shot. Reminds me of Kreider but with a better shot.

Mitts McCann is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:23 PM
  #10
polarbearcub
Registered User
 
polarbearcub's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
Posts: 5,988
vCash: 500
North south player. Filling out his upside ? 40 goals. Realistic? 25-30 physical top 6 winger who punishes. Love the pick.

More skilled and bigger Dustin brown who can score 30?

polarbearcub is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:28 PM
  #11
Zombotron
Fuddle Your Duddle
 
Zombotron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Cascadia
Country: Canada
Posts: 5,433
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by polarbearcub View Post
North south player. Filling out his upside ? 40 goals. Realistic? 25-30 physical top 6 winger who punishes. Love the pick.

More skilled and bigger Dustin brown who can score 30?
Yes. I see a lot of Dustin Brown in JV.



And JV has the potential to be an even bigger pest because he's a more extraverted character than Brown. I'm completely fine with this.

Zombotron is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:30 PM
  #12
Iridescent*
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,785
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spamhuis View Post
What will look ridiculous is we passed on Willie nylander while virtanens plumbing his skills on our third line
That's what I meant. I wouldn't be so upset if Nylander was gone, but passing on him was really dumb.

Iridescent* is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:34 PM
  #13
Tiranis
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Toronto, ON
Country: Czech_ Republic
Posts: 21,751
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iridescent View Post
That's what I meant. I wouldn't be so upset if Nylander was gone, but passing on him was really dumb.
I had Nylander higher on my list but Virtanen is a completely different player and could be just as valuable one day. All depends on how he develops. Value-wise, all 4 of the guys available to us were pretty even, IMO.

At his age, those goal scoring numbers are absolutely spectacular, especially since they mostly came at ES. Considering he played with 2nd line linemates and faced top opposition, that's an impressive feat.

Tiranis is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:41 PM
  #14
Iridescent*
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,785
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiranis View Post
I had Nylander higher on my list but Virtanen is a completely different player and could be just as valuable one day. All depends on how he develops. Value-wise, all 4 of the guys available to us were pretty even, IMO.

At his age, those goal scoring numbers are absolutely spectacular, especially since they mostly came at ES. Considering he played with 2nd line linemates and faced top opposition, that's an impressive feat.
Tools alone can carry you through juniors though. There is no denying Virtanens natural tool set. He is a gifted physical specimen. But tools alone won't carry you to top 6 success in the NHL.

Between the ears is what separates top 6 guys with all the tools from bottom 6 guys with all the tools, and I have very serious reservations about this with Virtanen.

That coupled with my firm belief that Nylander is going to be a superstar, it just leaves me very unhappy with the pick.

Iridescent* is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:44 PM
  #15
RunYouOutOfTheRink
Registered User
 
RunYouOutOfTheRink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: No Matter Which Rink
Country: Canada
Posts: 1,358
vCash: 50
Glad we passed on soft smaller guys like Nylander - not a fit with the team Benning and Linden have in mind. I really like JV's potential to impact the game with either speed, physical play, or scoring. His shot looks elite. I'd be disappointed if his development stalls, but he could be an absolute beast if his game keeps progressing.

RunYouOutOfTheRink is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:48 PM
  #16
MS
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 14,519
vCash: 500
Have reservations here - don't particularly like the lack of hockey sense, don't like that a physical player has already had a serious shoulder injury.

The question will be whether he can be a Dustin Brown-type guy who can put up 30-30-60 and add a lot of grit and partially carry a 2nd line or ride shotgun on the 1st, or if he's a less-suspend-y Raffi Torres who is a pure complimentary 2nd/3rd line player who can maybe score 20-25 goals in the right situation but can't come close to carrying a line.

Massive drop-off in talent from the top-5 picks, though. Lousy place to end up in the draft and I would have looked hard at trading down. Ducks got a similar-level player at #10.

MS is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:49 PM
  #17
Bgav
We Stylin'
 
Bgav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
Posts: 18,312
vCash: 566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iridescent View Post
Horrid pick that will look completely ridiculous in 5 years
Horrid post that will look completely ridiculous in 5 years

Bgav is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 08:58 PM
  #18
Reign Nateo
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Canada
Country: Canada
Posts: 12,625
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS View Post
Have reservations here - don't particularly like the lack of hockey sense, don't like that a physical player has already had a serious shoulder injury.

The question will be whether he can be a Dustin Brown-type guy who can put up 30-30-60 and add a lot of grit and partially carry a 2nd line or ride shotgun on the 1st, or if he's a less-suspend-y Raffi Torres who is a pure complimentary 2nd/3rd line player who can maybe score 20-25 goals in the right situation but can't come close to carrying a line.

Massive drop-off in talent from the top-5 picks, though. Lousy place to end up in the draft and I would have looked hard at trading down. Ducks got a similar-level player at #10.
The injury is a concern without a doubt no denying that, especially considering what will be expected of him physically at the NHL level. But having watched him a few times this year I think he's got too much potential to pass up. Granted I had a better look at him than any other player in that range, but he has an NHL shot and speed right now. His back hand is better than most NHLers. At 16/17 he can do things normal kids can't do. He's going to have a crazy year next year I believe, Hitmen should be solid. He's so young I'm willing to bank on his shoulder recovering.

He was my second choice, but there is a lot to work with there. His hockey sense isn't horrible, he understands the game, he's just too busy going full blast to stay ahead. He has a ways to go. Patience will be required. At 22 we'll know what we drafted.

Reign Nateo is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 09:07 PM
  #19
shortshorts
The OG Kesler Hater
 
shortshorts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Country: Canada
Posts: 11,652
vCash: 457
For those that have watched Virtanen play... How is his lateral skating/edgework?

I've watched a few games and have came away impressed with his straight line speed and acceleration... but never truly paid attention to him specifically.

shortshorts is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 09:10 PM
  #20
arsmaster
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 22,575
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iridescent View Post
That's what I meant. I wouldn't be so upset if Nylander was gone, but passing on him was really dumb.
My crystal ball says Nylander takes up ice dancing and never plays an NHL game.

See two can make up stuff and treat it like it's already occurred.

arsmaster is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 09:14 PM
  #21
a Fool
F R E E Z A C K
 
a Fool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Country: Canada
Posts: 1,268
vCash: 50
I've been pushing the Dustin Brown comparable for a while. Great shot, separation speed, powerful hits, and still room to round out his game.

a Fool is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 09:18 PM
  #22
Ryp37
Registered User
 
Ryp37's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,066
vCash: 500
As long as he doesn't dive and stick out knees I'm fine with the diving Dustin comparison

Ryp37 is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 09:24 PM
  #23
Wolfhard
Registered User
 
Wolfhard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: BC
Country: Canada
Posts: 680
vCash: 500
His style reminds me so much of Cam Neely. The one dimensional goal scoring. Punishing hits. Bulldozing through-you-rather-than-around-you tendency.

Wolfhard is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 09:25 PM
  #24
Reckage
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 276
vCash: 500
I think we will need to see what Benning does in the next 2-3 years to come up with a replacement for Henrik. As of right now, the Canucks would have to go with the committee approach if Henrik left the team.

Through draft, trade, UFA or whatever, they have to get Kassian, Virtanen, Shinkaruk Jensen et al a playmaking number one centre. I had hoped that would be Reinhart. Not to be.

If Benning comes up with a genuine number one centre, then Virtanen will be an excellent pick. If he doesn't, then the team is unlikely to challenge for the top, whether Virtanen pans out or not.

Reckage is offline  
Old
06-28-2014, 09:32 PM
  #25
Tiranis
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Toronto, ON
Country: Czech_ Republic
Posts: 21,751
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by shortshorts View Post
For those that have watched Virtanen play... How is his lateral skating/edgework?

I've watched a few games and have came away impressed with his straight line speed and acceleration... but never truly paid attention to him specifically.
Excellent all-around skater (even backwards). Probably top 3 in the draft, at least based on the players I've seen.

Tiranis is offline  
Closed Thread

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:42 AM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"
Contact Us - HFBoards - Archive - Privacy Statement - Terms of Use - Advertise - Top - AdChoices

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. 2015 All Rights Reserved.