Jake Virtanen | LW Calgary | WHL
Height: 6’1” Weight: 210 Shoots: Right
Born: August 17, 1996
2011-2012 GP: 9 G: 3 A: 1 P: 4 +/-: 3 PIM: 4
2012-2013 GP: 62 G: 16 A: 18 P: 34 +/-: 25 PIM: 67
|Virtanen has the size and strength to play a|
physical game and the skill to be an offensive
contributor (Photo Credit: Calgary Sun)
Virtanen was selected first overall in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft, joining the likes of Jay Bouwmeester and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. And while he won't likely follow those two in terms of being selected in the top five (third and first overall in their respective drafts), Virtanen will hear his name called early on day one. Washington Capital’s scout, Terry Richardson, considers him to be a lock for top 10/top 15 status. A prototypical power forward with soft hands, Virtanen brings the kind of total package that should garner him that type of attention.
Richardson has also been quoted saying that Virtanen is, with his size and strength, the type of player that everyone wants. He can skate, shoot and score. He’s deceptively fast and can beat people out of nowhere. With the puck on his stick, Virtanen display’s great hands, a good release and a natural scoring touch.
Physically, Virtanen has good size and prides himself on being a pretty sturdy guy. Considered physically punishing, the forward knows how to use his weight. Very aggressive both with and without the puck, he uses his big frame effectively down low and along the boards, willing to go to the dirty areas to make a play.
As with many though, Virtanen sees his defensive game as one aspect that could use improvement in order for him to be more effective at both ends of the ice. And with that, he also wants to focus on improving his transition game, increasing his foot speed in terms of starting and stopping.
So far this season, Virtanen is close to a point per game and is keeping an eye on league rival, Sam Reinhart. However, when it comes to NHL players, Calgary’s winger tries to emulate players like Rick Nash and Jonathan Toews. Both are effective, highly skilled two way players that Virtanen seems to fit the mold of.