The sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, Jake Virtanen has high expectations for next season.
“My goal is to make the team,” the 18-year-old said this week at Vancouver’s prospects camp, per the Times Colonist.
Virtanen is a big winger the Canucks are hoping can turn into an elite power forward.
If that description sounds familiar, it’s because the Canucks just traded away Zack Kassian, a big winger they’d hoped would turn into an elite power forward.
Canucks GM Jim Benning has said of Virtanen: “He knows how to hit. He likes to hit.” Which is something that was never said of Kassian during his time in Vancouver. In fact, some felt Kassian was miscast, that he’s really a finesse player, not a wrecking ball.
Virtanen concedes his defensive game remains a work in progress.
“A 200-foot game is what I have to work on,” he said.
And yes, they said that about Kassian, too.