THW’s NHL Draft Rankings – The Next Ones Edition (aka Chris’s List): #7 (March 2014)
- Hashtag/Nickname: #LocomotiV, #JakeTheSnake
- Team: #18, Calgary, WHL
- Position: Left Wing
- Shoots: Right
- Height: 6’1
- Weight: 210 lb.
- Born: Abbotsford, BC, 17-Aug-96
- Twitter: @Jake_Virtanen
7 – ISS, Feb-14
9 – NHL Combined – Mid-term, Jan-14
10 – Bob MacKenzie, Jan-14
14 – Future Considerations, Feb-14
47 – Craig Button, Jan-14
Jake Virtanen finally surpasses the point per game mark, with 63 in 62. 40 of those are goals. He'll be Top 10 come June, without a doubt.
— Christian Roatis (@croatis) February 25, 2014
— Calgary Hitmen (@WHLHitmen) January 16, 2014
— FCHockey (@FCHockey) February 23, 2014
— ISS Hockey (@ISShockey) February 21, 2014
— Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) January 30, 2014
- Future Considerations’ (FC) head WHL scout Zenon Herasymiuk, in describing the FC draft eligible forward of the month for January, at FutureConsiderations.ca:
“Jake has been playing outstanding hockey for the Hitmen as of late. Everything he touches seems to find the back of the net. He is starting work harder to get his chances and is bringing a little bit more creativity to the ice making him a handful for opposing teams.”
— Gus Katsaros🏒 (@KatsHockey) November 20, 2013
From the War Room
- Eldon MacDonald, THW: A few words on Jake Virtanen:
- Speed – Big man speed with acceleration, agility, balance. Won the 30 metre sprint, backward and forward, at the CHL Top Prospects game.
- Shot – Big gun, quick finger, hits target, penetrates net.
- Power forward – Jake Virtanen has the size, skating, drive and physicality teams look for in a power forward – Jake is probably the purest power forward in the draft.
- Improvements to make – Judging by his performance in January (13 goals and 20 points in 14 games), Jake has already come a long way. However, he should continue to work on using his teammates better, push for excellence in his defensive work and exert his physicality on a constant basis to win puck battles.
- Draft placement – Most have Jake at or around the top 10 now but if he continues to produce at or improve upon his January pace he could go significantly higher because his size and physical skills are as elite as just about anyone in the draft.
- Video 1: CHL Top Prospects Game profile from WHL.com
- Video 2: Highlights from Hockey Prospect Videos
About NHL Draft War Room Series
This series is compiled by Eldon MacDonald and edited by @ChrisRalphTHW)
Chris is THW’s senior draft/prospect analyst and a Managing Editor. Watch for “The Next Ones” Prospect Profile series, exclusive rankings, mock drafts, as well as the annual THW NHL Entry Draft Guide. Follow @ChrisRalphYQ on Twitter as he infiltrates, dissects and analyzes all happenings of hockey prospects and the NHL entry draft. Email: cralph[at]thehockeywriters[dot]com