Jake Virtanen Draft Profile

Jake Virtanen Draft Profile

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Former first overall pick in the 2011 WHL Draft, Jake Virtanen is likely my favourite non-center forward prospect within the Leafs range come the end of next month. While an imperfect prospect, the 6-foot-1, 209-pound Virtanen adds NHL-level tools for teams looking for goal-scoring ability. When asked to paint a picture of the Calgary Hitmen forward, ‘speed’ and ‘mean’ are front and center with the goal-scoring winger. He explodes into top speed with a quick first few strides, with an ability to beat defenders wide or burst into open scoring pockets. Utilizing his speed, he has a tendency to absolutely destroy opponents in open ice or on the forecheck when so inclined. What earns Virtanen his top prospect status, however, is his ability to score goals with a high-end release, evidenced in the 45 he scored in 71 games this past season, placing him among the WHL’s Top 10. However, as with almost all young players, there are question marks and weaknesses. While a strong and quick player, he isn’t a polished player away from the puck, and often adds little when the puck is not on his stick. He’s not one to consistently go into corners and grind in order to retrieve possession. He’s a rush-first player who is able to pick corners with absolute ease, but just how effectively will the offense translate at the next level? Shoulder surgery wiping out his draft combine, off-season training and start to next season may hurt his draft position. Virtanen played the end of the WHL regular season, the WHL playoffs, and the U18 World Championships (6 points in 7 games) with the injury. There’s both risk and ample upside here with one of the youngest players in the 2014 draft class.
- Brian Huddle

Further Reading: Edmonton Journal

Jake Virtanen Highlights


Jake Virtanen Statistics

Season
Team
League
GP
G
A
TP
PIM
+/-
 
Postseas.
GP
G
A
TP
PIM
+/-
2010-11Abbotsford Hawks Bantam A1PCBHL596849117-|
Yale Secondary Lions BlueBCHSHL11120|
2011-12Fraser Valley BruinsBCMML39172239120|
Calgary HitmenWHL931443|Playoffs50004-4
2012-13Calgary HitmenWHL621618346725|Playoffs1524627-2
Canada Pacific U17WHC-1755278|
Calgary HitmenWHL7145267110023|Playoffs61344-2
Canada U18WJC-187336102|
Tournament Statistics
2011-12Team British ColumbiaWCCC-164505-|
BCMML Sabres 1U17 Cup-----|
Canada U18Hlinka Memorial50114-2|
Jake Virtanen is a heads-up player who thinks the game well and is willing to get his nose dirty. He has slick hands, a dynamic shot and a strong stride that makes him dangerous. He can be outright dominant at times offensively with his blend of size, skill and speed. (August 2013) - Elite Prospects
--
Speed – Big man speed with acceleration, agility, balance. Won the 30 metre sprint, backward and forward, at the CHL Top Prospects game.

Shot – Big gun, quick finger, hits target, penetrates net.

Power forward – Jake Virtanen has the size, skating, drive and physicality teams look for in a power forward – Jake is probably the purest power forward in the draft.

Improvements to make – Judging by his performance in January (13 goals and 20 points in 14 games), Jake has already come a long way. However, he should continue to work on using his teammates better, push for excellence in his defensive work and exert his physicality on a constant basis to win puck battles.

Draft placement – Most have Jake at or around the top 10 now but if he continues to produce at or improve upon his January pace he could go significantly higher because his size and physical skills are as elite as just about anyone in the draft. - mynhldraft.com

680 comments
mike_84
mike_84

Just got back from the dog park. Anything new today?

ShiFty_D
ShiFty_D

Marlies play today at 3? Great if you get a Rogers channel.....

FRyan
FRyan

What I don't get is putting these kids through all this combine stuff. You can't tell me that scouts haven't been watching these kids from 16 on.  Then when they don't partake in a certain event it's broken down to even the minute detail on the tile hes standing on 

ShiFty_D
ShiFty_D

I don't know why we keep focusing on who was picked in the particular 8th slot. Should be looking at who was picked from 8 on as those players were still available after whichever team picked 7th. Many times consensus fades after the first few picks of the draft and teams start to pick a little more away from the rankings. Just my $0.02

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

By history looking at pics from 5-10 slot:


Last years draft-  3 have played over 50 games in their first year and 4 of the 6 have played in over 30 games

2 yrs ago draft- 3 over 50 games and 4 who have played (5-10 slot)

3 yrs ago (ie. 2 years after draft and therefore equivalent of this pick being 2016/17 year in NHL..  ALL played in the NHL .. Strome the least at 37 games and he is likely to be a star.. the others averaged between 100-120 games already by their third year... 

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

I just hope with an 8th overall pick (or higher if trading) we can get an asset who can play either in 2014-15, *highly doubted unless we move up"... or next year.. like Reilly..  One who is going off to college for 4 yrs should not be an option

mike_84
mike_84

Fabbri seems to be the popular pick to jump up. I think a guy who will go higher then we think will be Alex Tuch or McCann

Waiting4LSC
Waiting4LSC

Same as the NFL, but the most knowledgeable all agree it's the game films that tell you the most. Ratings, ratings, ratings.

peterbleafs
peterbleafs

@FRyan Mathematics precise comparisons and data.  Also indicators of trainable attributes. 

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

They're big boys. They can take it.

FRyan
FRyan

@ShiftyD

One thing i noticed out of that is the number of LW's. I wonder if its a trend if we were to go back a like last yr was it a lot of rw's etc

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

Some people are just uneducated about this stuff.

MaxwellHowe
MaxwellHowe

@CanuckUKinToronto  Nick Ritchie seems to be the most likely to jump to the NHL.  Myself, I want the Leafs to take the most  highly skilled forward available

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

With this year's crop I doubt we'll see the player we pick at 8th for four years.

daniel marois
daniel marois

@mike_84


Yes - I can see either one of those guys entering the top-10 including Fabbri.  Leafs got a long look at Fabbri all year to the Memorial Cup as he's teammamtes with Matt Finn. 

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

Also in-depth personal interviews. A lot of the non-scout team officials haven't spoken to these guys yet.

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

@Rhaegar_ @mike_84 Plus he's probably 4 yrs away if he stays in college and add a yr with the Marlies leaning how to be a pro so its 5 yrs before you see this player in a Leafs uniform . Not big on taking college guys in the 1st rd unless they are franchise type players 

daniel marois
daniel marois

@Rhaegar_ @mike_84


I think Eichel could be the better player than McDavid in the longrun.  Kinda like the Hall/Seguin debate.  

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

I'd go for that but the teams that would deal down have all the control, dictate the terms. They need to hit a home run to justify it to their fans. I don't know if it would be worth is. The more I read the less this draft blows me away. Someone here yesterday was saying they've watched Ekblad and he's slow. This Fabbri that's being mentioned just made it to 160 pounds. Even Bennet is light, 177. Talented, but some fans think we have a chance at getting our No. 1 C in this draft when more likely it will be a second or third liner who finishes junior than spends a couple years with the Marlies.

daniel marois
daniel marois

@whalz


That's what they said about Skinner in his draft year and people were shocked when 'Canes took him at #8.   Guys like Eberle and Giroux dropped out of the top-10 in their respective draft years because of size.  Can't argue with the offensive numbers put up at the NHL level.  

That is what Fabbri can potentially bring.  

ingy56
ingy56

@ShiftyD @wiski @Bon Scott was a Leaf fan Got my son and his friend loading gravel into the new patio and running the compactor. I'm supervising and helping with the occasional shovel load. Sounds like work detail day today....back to the job. 

Rhaegar_
Rhaegar_

@Xxxxxnew Kreider was 187 when drafted. I'm betting Bennett will be in the 185 range by the time he's drafted. I don't foresee that kind of growth spurt in Bennett (Kredier is now 230, I think), but being 177 at 17 doesn't necessarily make him light. Otherwise, agree with your sentiment. I would trade the pick for a player who has fallen out of favor - like Evander Kane or Tyler Myers. 

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

The debate I remember was whether he'd go ahead of Hedman.

Komas Taberle
Komas Taberle

@daniel marois @whalz

Skinner is 22 and is allready breaking down, one more concussion and it's light's out for him.

Fact is you need big players who are fast and skilled and love the rough stuff and two way game, that is the model you need going forward.

ShiFty_D
ShiFty_D

@ingy56 @ShiftyD @wiski @Bon Scott was a Leaf fan Ha! Hey somebody has to wear the white hat. :D


Oh and I am done now. Doing S.F.A. for the remainder of the weekend. Did all my deck work  last weekend put new rails and gates on it then pressure washed it all top to bottom. Looking like new again and I'm just going to enjoy it. LOL

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

I was trying to say in my backwards way Bennett is "light" in terms of stepping in next year for a team like the Leafs if fans are expecting immediate help. Kredier is a perfect example of a guy picked a bit lower in the first round who has worked out - four years after his draft he made it as a regular with the Rangers.