Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen celebrates his first NHL goal in 2015. He returns to NHL action on Saturday with the Canucks. (JEFF VINNICK/VANCOUVER CANUCKS)

Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen cracks Canucks opening game roster

Yale Secondary grad opens season with Canucks on Saturday against Edmonton

After spending the majority of the 2016-17 season with the AHL’s Utica Comets, Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen has cracked the opening game roster of the Vancouver Canucks this season.

The Canucks announced their final roster decisions earlier today, and Virtanen will start off the year with the big club.

The Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association product and Yale Secondary grad impressed in the preseason, with six points in six games.

Virtanen was selected by the Canucks in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, after a stellar junior career with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen where he compiled 161 points in 192 games.

He also made the Canucks roster in his rookie season back in 2015-16, when he collected 13 points in 55 games.

Virtanen played 65 games with the Canucks minor league affiliate in Utica last season, picking up 19 points. He also appeared in 10 games for the Canucks last season, and collected one assist.

The Canucks open the NHL regular season on Saturday, when they host the Edmonton Oilers at 7 p.m.

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