Virtanen off to Utica

Canucks rookie joins AHL team for conditioning stint

Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen is heading to Utica.

The Vancouver Canucks rookie is joining the AHL’s Utica Comets for a conditioning stint, and is expected to draw into the lineup this weekend.

The 19-year-old has missed the past four games for the Canucks with a hip pointer injury.

Virtanen has played 19 games this season, recording four points and 15 penalty minutes.

He could also find himself loaned to the Canadian world junior team. The 2016 World Junior Championships runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Helsinki, Finland. Virtanen was on the roster for last year’s gold-medal winning Canadian team.