Jake Virtanen has re-signed with the Vancouver Canucks for two years at $2.5 million. Virtanen has played parts of the last three seasons in Vancouver. He also played a significant portion of the 2016-2017 season with the Canucks AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets.
JUST IN: #Canucks sign restricted free agent forward Jake Virtanen to a two-year, $2.5 million contract.
The 21-year-old scored 10 goals and added 10 assists over 75 games this season.
— SportsCentre (@SportsCentre) July 25, 2018
Vancouver Canucks Re-Sign Jake Virtanen
After taking a big step forward this past year, Jake Virtanen will be staying with the Vancouver Canucks for the foreseeable future. He could be a major piece going forward for a Canucks team looking to rebuild following the departure of longtime leaders in Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin.
After a slow start with the Canucks, Virtanen came into his own this past season. In fact, he played more games this season alone then the prior two combined. The former sixth overall pick from the Calgary Hitmen had a career total of only 14 points prior to this season.
But a new rookie head coach in Travis Green saw Virtanen given a new chance with the big squad. In 75 games this past season Virtanen managed 10 goals and 10 assists, more than doubling his career highs in both categories. While his point production was less than what the Canucks faithful was looking for, Virtanen showed promise. He is still a work in progress but his skillset has the ability to be a very good player in the league.
Expect another increased role in the coming year as the Canucks will be without the Sedin twins as well as possibly losing Jussi Jokinen and Nic Dowd. Although Virtanen has the experience the Canucks also have some young prospects that may be given a chance next season. Players like Kole Lind and Jonathan Dahlen will make a strong case for playing time during the pre-season. If Virtanen can show his ability he should be a key piece next season.