With the 6th overall selection, the Vancouver Canucks have selected Abbotsford native Jake Virtanen. Read past the jump for some quick thoughts and analysis.
You all know my thoughts on Jake Virtanen. If we’re lucky and everything works out perfectly, he might be Jeff Carter. On the other hand, he’s just as likely to be Kyle Beach. Instead, he most likely projects as a third line/low-end second line forward similar to Mikkel Boedker or Devin Setoguchi.
Working in Virtanen’s favour is his exceptional tool set. He skates fast, has a hard shot, is very physical and plays with an edge. He’s also one of the younger prospects, but may have already filled out his 6’1, 208-lb frame.
We’ve posted this table before, but here are Virtanen’s closest comparable players in terms of 17-year old scoring since the 2003 NHL entry draft:
Nikolaj Ehlers meanwhile compared most closely to Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Huberdeau. I can’t help but think that this is a very poor bet for the Canucks to make. It’s relatively high-risk and relatively low-reward, and there were far better players available at 6th overall. We can only hope that Virtanen can defy the odds and live up to what the Canucks think of him. I’m sure we’ll have more on Virtanen and the rest of Vancouver’s draft in the coming days.