Bad news for WHL Calgary forward Jake Virtanen, as the much-heralded prospect could miss 4-6 months due to shoulder surgery, according to TSN.
Virtanen is considered the sixth-ranked prospect in the 2014 NHL draft, and scored 45 goals for the Hitmen this season. Virtanen will still attend the NHL’s scouting combine next week, but won’t be participating in any physical drills.
“He’s tough to play against, makes things happen on the ice. When you’re out there with him, better have your head up because he could put you through the wall,” Central Scouting’s Peter Sullivan told NHL.com. “He’s got a complete, all-around pro game right now. He’s got that package of high-end skill that doesn’t come along too often; he’s like a Jarome Iginla type of player who can do everything.”
The 6-foot, 200 plus pound Virtanen made a leap in the Central Scouting rankings, going from number 9 to number 6 in their final set of rankings.
The prospect also had an excellent showing at the U18 worlds in April, as he aided Canada in reaching the Bronze medal. He scored six points during the seven games, which was a team high.
The NHL’s Entry Draft is scheduled for June 27, from Wells Fargo in Philadelphia, PA.