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Could another 2014 first round pick be available in Virtanen?

August 2, 2020, 2:37 PM ET [20 Comments]
Jeremy Laura
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Covid continues to affect collegiate level hockey, as we talked about in the last post. Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman is heavily involved in the AHL return to play conversations as well. Take a look and lend your thoughts to the comments.

The 2014 NHL draft has yielded some strange results. Wings GM Steve Yzerman has seemed to key in on any available prospects from the first round. Robby Fabbri benefitted from a change of scenery in coming to Detroit. Brendan Perlini, however, hasn’t fared as well. Sonny Milano has found a new home in Anaheim, and Josh Ho Sang still can’t seem to break through. Another first round selection is making waves in the rumor mill, and not for the best.

TSN radio host Don Taylor feels that Jake Virtanen isn’t going to get a long term commitment from Vancouver. JV had career highs in goals (18) and assists (18) in 69 games. At 6’1”, a right shooting RW coming in at a solid 226, this one is a bit of a head scratcher. Travis Green’s decision to make Virtanen a healthy scratch ahead of his first ever post season NHL play seemed surprising, though the coach still vocalizes confidence in the young winger.

JV won’t be a “cheap” acquisition by any means. GMs have been more adamant about letting players sit unhappy rather than be low-balled by other teams. With Yzerman’s penchant for the 2014 players, you have to wonder if he would at least have the conversations and find a potential fit.

Unless Vancouver finds a return they love, I would expect a one or two year extension as Virtanen has arbitration rights. The nice thing about that process is it pushes both player and team to “take it or leave it”. The unending standoffs for RFAs with no arbitration have become an unwelcome addition to the post season. Currently making 1.25M, I expect VAN to qualify JV. From there, VAN is without a second round pick in the upcoming draft. Yzerman has a couple extra second round picks to play with. There could be a fit.

What do you think? Bring another 2014 first rounder, or take a pass on this one? Let me know your thoughts.
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