Jake Virtanen scored 45 goals in the WHL this season, an outstanding total for a draft eligible forward. His combination of size, speed and skill makes him an attractive prospect and he’s likely to be taken inside the top 10 overall.


Jake Virtanen is a right-handed left winger. He’s 6.01, 210 and a very
late (Aug) 1996 birthday. He’s from Abbotsford, which is spitting
distance from Nuge’s hometown of Burnaby. Virtanen is a fast train and a
first shot scorer, and the youngster has some edge to his game. You
know I’m a fan of “complete” players, and Virtanen checks off almost
everything on the list—he is not (from what I’ve seen and read) a highly
creative player. That aside, he’s golden. Virtanen can take and make a pass, and play with skill, the
best part being his ability to score goals at even strength posted his offense in 2013-14 as follows:

  • EVENS: 71GP, 33-19-52
  • POWER PLAY: 71GP, 10-7-17
  • PENALTY KILL: 71GP, 2-0-2


  • Red Line Report: Loaded with some of the best overall physical tools in this year’s draft.
  • Calgary Hitmen coach Mike Williamson: “Jake’s had a lot of attention for a lot of years so it’s very
    important that he tempers those a little bit in two ways,” Williamson
    said. “One, that he doesn’t let the pressure get to him and two, he
    doesn’t get carried away with himself and I think he does a good job of
    balancing that. He has to make sure he has to work hard and that he’s a
    good teammate. Those are the things he’s focusing on.”
  • Scouting Report via

    Future Considerations: Virtanen

    is a heads-up player who thinks the game well and is willing to get his nose

    dirty. He has slick hands, a dynamic shot and a strong stride that makes him

    dangerous. He can be outright dominant at times offensively with his blend of

    size, skill and speed.

  • Craig Button: Jake has undeniable skill. Excellent skater who has speed, quickness and
    power. Can beat defenders with his skating and when he gets an
    advantage, his size makes it almost impossible for a defender to get
    back on equal footing. Very strong shot and can beat goaltenders from
    out but also has the quickness in his hands to score in tight. Has the
    potential to be a dynamic scoring winger.
  • The Hockey News: Is a natural scorer with soft hands and an excellent skating stride.
    Also boasts very good size for the wing position in the NHL. Is
    effective on either side of center. 
    Must alleviate his reputation for taking a few shifts off if he
    is to become a quality scoring winger at the highest level. So,
    consistency is his biggest challenge.


There are two NHLE’s worth paying attention to these days, the original Desjardins and Rob Vollman’s that appeared in his Hockey Abstract last summer. They have similar views of Virtanen:

  • Desjardins: 82GP, 16-9-25
  • Vollman: 82GP, 14-7-21



No. The Oilers drafted wingers in the first round in 2008 (Eberle), 2009 (Paajarvi), 2010 (Hall) and 2012 (Yakupov). This year’s draft pick, third overall, will be spent on a center or defenseman—or be dealt away for immediate help at those two positions.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Would be nice if we could swap picks with someone for a defenceman and still be in position to draft Virtanen as well . Impressive video by the way . That appear to be the type of power forward we could use and sadly lack .

  • TeddyTurnbuckle

    Our 3rd overall pick has 99% value to the 1st overall this year. The more I read about the top four Ekblad, Sam R, Sam B, and Leon, the closer it gets. Calgary’s player will have the same chance of being the best player in this years draft as Florida’s player. This years pick will probably turn out to be a great player and be the talk of the town this summer.

    • mesa

      the st.louis media already one hr after the game was ended were head hunting from MGNMT -head coach and all the way to the players.that the team you go after .

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Im just wondering LT, are you going to be doing a write up of Haydn Fleury? The kid looks like he’s going to be a beast on the back end and has some skill.

    Ive only seen a few highlights on YouTube, and it would be interesting to hear your take if the Oilers do trade down with teams like Philly or Washington.


  • John Chambers

    The deal being discussed, as I understand it, has Yakupov, Gagner, and the pick heading to Carolina for Eric Staal and Andrej Sekara, and possibly the Canes pick as well.

    If we’re able to obtain the 7th overall pick from Carolina I would be extremely pleased with the Virtanen selection.

    • bwar

      I just can’t decide if I like that trade or not. Presumably would make us better right now. Big upgrade at the 2C position but creates a hole on the wing. Sekara is meh, one year left on his contract, had a breakout year, basically would be on a one year tryout which either gives us time to sign him or gives nurse/marincin/klefbom time to mature. Would allow the #7 pick to be used on basically BPA.

      To me the big risk of the deal is how good is Yakupov going to be versus how much is Staal on the decline?

    • Lowetide

      No way would I do this trade. I would not trade for vets who are over 27 at this point. How silly would we look if ekblad became available and yakupov scored over 30 next year. This has the potential to be a disaster. This might make us better in the short term but I didn’t wait patiently for 8 years to trade for guys who are 30 so we can rebuild again in 4 years when they are too old. Where are you getting this information?

      • a lg dubl dubl

        Staal is exactly what the Oilers need at this time to move this “rebuild” forward. Sure he’s closer to 30 than the top line but again they need players like Staal, that has WON A CUP, to support them and show them how to win when the cards are down.

        At the 7th pick, they might just be able to grab a player like Virtanen, or a dman like Haydn Fleury who can still help the Oilers a few yrs down the road when Stall is ready to move on or retire (if he stays that long).

        Im tired of not really interested in the playoffs, wait for the draft, and then wait for the season to start.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      I just went from six to midnight!

      You need a mix to win in the NHL. Losing Yakupov’s 30 goal “potential” is not the end of the world because it will be replaced with size, skill, heart and leadership. Other players will step up and fill in for those “potential” goals. Oh, and E. Staal doesn’t have 30 goal “potential” he actually has 30+ goal seasons. It’s easy to say so and so scored 30 goals why did we trade him after the fact; but in reality that so and so may not have done jack staying in Edmonton because the environment, coaching, systems etc. did not suit him.

      We have a great young core, it’s time to build around them. Boston traded Seguin, do they miss his 30 goals this year? – not even a little bit.

    • NJ

      You sir, are on crack.

      A #1 centre and a good d-man who is getting better for a completely unproven winger, a terrible 2 center on a bad contract and swapping picks.

      See first line of post.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    you know what John? if they did this deal, i’d be cool with it, even if Staal ended up not staying in Edmonton long term. the reason is that he’s still a great asset that can be turned into something else down the road.

  • TeddyTurnbuckle

    If you were to build a hockey player he would look exactly like virtanen, the kid had the build of a man at the age of 14… He has every tool to become a great nhl player and I truly believe he will be.

  • Lyxdeslic

    Oilers going nowhere next season until they address their defence with a top two defenceman . That is priority one as MacT. has basically spelled out , and thus our pick is up for the taking .

  • Lyxdeslic

    What is with the Eric Staal haters on here? If the Oilers have a chance to get a 6’4 Stanley Cup and Olympic champion who is a bonafide number one center and team Captain then you do it without any hesitation. He is literally the exact player we need. Not to mention he is one of three players in the entire NHL to put up 70+ points every year from the 05 lockout to the 2012/13 lockout. Last year he had 53 points in 48 games, this year he had 61… steal this guy now cause it is the lowest his trade value will ever be.

  • mesa

    There is no question that the sharp knives will be out in cities where their team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. As stated above, this is where MacT has to be prepared to focus his efforts. With any luck, maybe he will catch lightning in a bottle and pull off the 2014 equivalent of the Paajarvi – Perron deal. This would be particularly effective if it resulted in the Oilers getting a serviceable top pairing D man.

  • mesa

    Same posts & same comments about hope… If the Oilers were a team that would be managed with competence we would all have passionate debate on how great the Halls, RNHs, Eberles and Scrivens’ are to have made it to the second playoffs rounds… Most posts can be re-used by changing the date for next year’s posts.

  • mesa

    Off topic. The Flames announced a new GM this morning. Many other teams with better record than the Oilers are doing the same!!

    Status quo in Edmonton….more sewer finishes. Oiler fans live for draft day unfortunately.

    Did Lowe get a promotion??

  • Hockey Problems 101

    E Staal has a NTC in his contract. What are the chances that he’d actually waive it to come to Edmonton? That’s what I thought too. Good luck with that.