Virtanen gearing up for training camp

Abbotsford minor hockey product seeking spot in the big show

By: Ben Lypka, Abbotsford News

The next stop for Abbotsford minor hockey product and now NHL’er Jake Virtanen is Prince George.

Virtanen and the Vancouver Canucks head to Northern BC from Sept. 18 to 20 for the first on-ice training since the club was eliminated by the Calgary Flames last spring.

It’s back to the grind for most Canucks, but for Virtanen it’s a chance to impress the coaching staff and earn a spot on the roster.

He had several memorable moments at the Young Stars Classic event in Penticton from Sept. 11 to 14. Virtanen caused a stir during the Canucks game against the Oilers on Sept. 11 by hitting Edmonton’s prized first round pick Connor McDavid, and then closed the tournament by scoring the winning goal on a breakaway against Calgary on Sept. 14.

Virtanen is expected to battle for a spot on the Canucks opening day roster. He made his professional debut last season, suiting up in eight games for the Utica Comets of the AHL and recording one point and six penalty minutes. Hitmen in the WHL last season.

The Canucks open the exhibition schedule on Sept. 21 when they host San Jose.