Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen and the Vancouver Canucks have avoided arbitration, agreeing today (Thursday) to a two-year deal with an average annual value of $2.55 million.
Virtanen and the Canucks had been set for an arbitration hearing on Oct. 28 to determine his salary.
“Jake has continued to make progress on his two-way game and remains a contributor offensively, using his speed and size to generate chances,” stated Canucks general manager Jim Benning in a press release. “We look forward to him taking additional steps in his growth this year to help our team be successful.”
Virtanen, 24, registered 36 points (18-18-36) and 41 penalty minutes in 69 games in the 2019-20 season. Making his NHL playoff debut in 2020, he added three points (2-1-3) in 16 games. In 279 career games, all with Vancouver, Virtanen has tallied 95 points (50-45-95) and 178 penalty minutes.
He previously signed a two-year deal with a salary cap hit of $1.25 million back in 2018.
The Canucks are now about $1.5 million over the salary cap and will have to free up space somehow.
The Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association and Yale Hockey Academy product was drafted sixth overall by the Canucks in the 2014 NHL Draft.
He also spent four seasons with the Western Hockey League’s Calgary Hitmen, producing 161 points in 192 games.