Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen, who was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in June, signed his first National Hockey League contract on Friday.
Virtanen, a lifelong Canucks fan, was chosen by the club sixth overall in the NHL Entry Draft, making him the highest NHL-drafted player in the history of the Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association.
Virtanen broke the news himself on Twitter just before noon, and the Canucks followed with a press release later in the day.
“Such an honour to sign with the Canucks!” Virtanen wrote on Twitter. “I’d like to thank everybody who’s helped me get to this point especially my family!”
Such an honour to sign with the Vancouver Canucks ! I’d like to thank everybody who’s helped me get to this point especially my family !!
— Jake Virtanen (@Jake_Virtanen) July 25, 2014
Virtanen is expected to be back with the Western Hockey League’s Calgary Hitmen next season. The 17-year-old winger collected 71 points (45-26-71) in 71 regular season games with 100 penalty minutes during the 2013-14 campaign.
New draft picks typically sign entry-level contracts that stipulate their pay in the event they are called up to the NHL.