Jake Virtanen
Jake Virtanen
22-Year-Old Left WingLW
Vancouver Canucks
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Virtanen made big strides late in the 2017-18 season when he started to carry the puck a lot more, but consistency has been elusive as he navigates through an up-and-down pro career. The speedy winger finished the season with 10 goals and 20 points in 75 games and saw his average ice time creep up from 10 minutes in October to 15 in April. However, Virtanen doesn't seem to be on the cusp of making that big leap and will likely bounce around in the bottom two lines over the course of the season with the occasional shift to the top six. If Virtanen can improve his shooting, both in quality and volume, a 20-goal season isn't out of the question, but he'll need the right opportunities, making him a high-risk, medium-reward fantasy option. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $2.5 million contract with the Canucks in July of 2018.
Physical in return
LWVancouver Canucks
March 9, 2019
Virtanen (ribs) skated 16:04 and offered up five hits and four shots on goal in a 6-2 loss to the Golden Knights on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Virtanen missed 10 games with the fractured rib, but it didn't stop him from imposing a physical toll on the Golden Knights. The winger has 124 hits and 140 shots to go with 22 points in 59 appearances this season. Playing alongside Bo Horvat and Antoine Roussel on the top line could lead to better production for the 22-year-old down the stretch.
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2018–19 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    14:47
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    1:21
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    0:01
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2016–17
10:09
0:09
0:00
2017–18
11:59
0:17
0:01
2018–19
14:47
1:21
0:01
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
Virtanen has the potential to be an impact fantasy player, but there’s a difference between potential and reality. A 2014 sixth overall pick, Virtanen only appeared in 10 games with the Canucks last season, managing one assist in limited ice time. The 6-foot-1, 229-pound winger was sent down to AHL Utica to continue developing, but he failed to turn heads there, managing just 19 points in 65 games. While it’s certainly too early to label Virtanen a bust, it’s hard to be optimistic about his future in Vancouver. Sure, the 20-year-old has shown glimpses of the power forward he’s projected to become, though he’s been too inconsistent to be a regular in Vancouver’s lineup. Virtanen will likely spend another year in Utica, where management can help determine whether an NHL career is in his future.
Virtanen made an impact in his first NHL season, racking up seven goals and 13 points in 55 games. The 6-foot-1 winger didn’t light up the scoresheet, but he turned heads with his physical play and willingness to go to the dirty areas. He’ll likely play on Vancouver’s second or third line in 2016-17, where he should definitely improve on the 13 points he managed in his rookie campaign. If he can stick on the power play and log decent minutes, the former 45-goal-scorer in the WHL could be an impactful fantasy player this season.
Coming off major shoulder surgery that limited his participation in the prospects tournament and training camp, Virtanen produced 21 goals and 52 points in 50 games with the WHL Hitmen in 2014-15. The 18-year-old got a taste of professional hockey when he was brought up to Utica for an AHL playoff run, appearing in 10 games and managing one assist. The 6-foot-1, 218-pound winger is a physical presence whenever he's on the ice and never backs down from a challenge. Not only is the promising power forward never afraid to throw his weight around, Virtanen also exhibits tremendous work ethic and world-class skating ability that allows him to blow past defenders. Virtanen, who scored 45 goals with the Hitmen in 2013-14, has a wicked release on his shot that tends to handcuff goaltenders. While it’s possible he cracks the Canucks’ roster out of training camp, it’s more likely the youngster starts the season with Utica, where there's the promise of top-six minutes and power-play time. He could ultimately slot in on Vancouver’s third or fourth line this season, but don’t expect big offensive numbers until the physical force warps his way into the Canucks’ top six. The 2014 first-round pick has a nonstop motor and is gushing with fantasy potential, so keep an eye on him in the coming years.
Virtanen, 18, was one of the younger players in the 2014 draft class, but he’s already been tabbed as the best pure goal scorer of the draft. His game is really inconsistent, but that’s part of his huge appeal -- what is he capable of if he’s already this good? He scores a lot off the rush, but he’s no Phil Kessel. And that means he needs to figure out how to use his fantastic strength to his advantage in the cycle. But his average hockey smarts will make that learning curve long and slow. He won’t create offensive chances, but he sure will finish them if given a chance, in a James Neal or Evander Kane kind of way. His development hit a snag when he underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in May that will keep him out until mid-October, but it shouldn't hinder his long-term outlook. Play watch-and-wait with Virtanen until you know he’s shown he can expand his game.
More Fantasy News
Ready to return
LWVancouver Canucks
March 9, 2019
Virtanen (ribs) will return to the lineup for Saturday's game against Vegas.
ANALYSIS
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Suffers fractured rib
LWVancouver Canucks
Ribs
February 18, 2019
Virtanen will miss a month after sustaining a fractured rib.
ANALYSIS
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Surfaces on IR
LWVancouver Canucks
Undisclosed
February 16, 2019
Virtanen (undisclosed) is listed on injured reserve, per the NHL's official media site.
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Slated to sit Thursday
LWVancouver Canucks
Undisclosed
February 14, 2019
Virtanen is expected to miss Thursday's game against the Kings, Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet.ca reports.
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Collects assist in road loss
LWVancouver Canucks
February 8, 2019
Virtanen recorded his 10th assist of the season in Thursday's 4-3 overtime loss to Chicago.
ANALYSIS
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