Analysis

Blackhawks: Signing Jake Virtanen

Toronto Maple Leafs v Vancouver Canucks
Toronto Maple Leafs v Vancouver Canucks / Rich Lam/GettyImages
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Jake Virtanen was recently found not guilty in his court case, and will now likely be given another shot in the NHL. Although there are no official connections between the Blackhawks and Virtanen as of yet I wouldn’t mind the idea of giving him a chance in the bottom six, and Virtanen would be given a bigger role on a short term contract as a “prove it” deal for other teams if he decides to leave Chicago. 

Virtanen spent the 2021-22 season with Spartak Moskva of the KHL. He played 36 games and had 9 goals and 7 assists in his tenure, while adding 24 penalty minutes. Between the 2015-16 and 2020-21 seasons, Virtanen spent his entire NHL career with the Vancouver Canucks. Through 317 games with the club, he had scored 55 goals and added 45 assists for 100 points. The 2017-18 season was his first full year in the NHL and he wasn’t sent down to the AHL again following that. 

The 26 year old still has lots of fight left in him, and is still showing signs of promise as a solid depth piece in any team's lineup. He’s been deemed a power forward with a small scoring touch and a tough physical side, and has a really strong 200 foot game. His 6’1, 227 pound stature is something plenty of times will be looking into, and will want in their system. 

The Blackhawks could sign Virtanen on a 1-2 year deal worth $800k AAV. I truly think that’s all it would cost, as he’s just looking to get back in the league and make an impact wherever he goes. His skills could be utilized in our bottom 6, and it makes sense for him to join a rebuilding team if he wants a bigger role upon his return. 

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