Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen skates during the first period of a preseason NHL hockey game on Monday, September 28, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen skates during the first period of a preseason NHL hockey game on Monday, September 28, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen set to be bought out by Vancouver Canucks

NHL club places player on unconditional waivers, has been on leave since May 1 since allegations

Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen is officially done with the Vancouver Canucks.

The former Yale Secondary grad cleared waivers on Monday morning and has now been bought out by the Vancouver Canucks.

The team made the announcement that he was being put on waivers on social media on Sunday morning (July 25). Teams had 24 hours to claim Virtanen, but no team chose to do so.

He is now a free agent and has the ability to sign with any professional team. The move allows the Canucks to free up cap space to sign other players. Because Virtanen is under 26, he can be bought out at just one-third of his $3 million base salary. He will count $50,000 against the cap next season, and $500,000 in 2022-23.

Virtanen has been leave from the team since May 1 following allegations of sexual misconduct.

In the days following his leave, Virtanen stepped down as the host of the Archway Charity Golf Tournament.

Later that month, a civil lawsuit was filed in Kelowna that alleges Virtanen took the woman to a hotel in West Vancouver in September 2017 and assaulted her as the woman repeatedly said no and pleaded with him to stop.

The statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and repeated and ongoing nightmares.

Virtanen responded to the lawsuit the following month, acknowledging that he did have sex with the woman, but that it was consensual. He claimed that the woman consented to the act through her words and conduct.

RELATED: Canucks’ Virtanen responds to sexual assault lawsuit; says relations consensual

Virtanen added that he did not “physically force the plaintiff to have intercourse” and denies that the woman expressed “any indication, verbal or physical, that she did not want to engage in sexual activity.”

The former Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association and Yale Hockey Academy product was chosen by the Canucks in round one, sixth overall of the 2014 NHL draft. He also excelled with the Western Hockey League’s Calgary Hitmen, recording 161 points in 192 games.

Over six seasons with the Canucks he collected 100 points in 317 games. His top season was 2019-20, when he recorded 18 goals and 36 points in 69 games.

RELATED: Jake Virtanen steps down as host of Abbotsford charity golf tournament

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