There’s going to be immense pressure on the Edmonton Oilers to draft Aaron Ekblad this summer (if he’s available), and similar pressure to add a center like Reinhart or Bennett. The guy the Oilers should take a long look at? Another bloody winger!
Jake Virtanen is a right-handed left winger. He’s 6.01, 210 and a very late (Aug) 1996 birthday. He’s from Abbotsford, which is spitting distance from Nuge’s hometown of Burnaby. Virtanen is a fast train and a first shot scorer, and the youngster has some edge to his game. You know I’m a fan of “complete” players, and Virtanen checks off almost everything on the list—he is not (from what I’ve seen and read) a highly creative player. He can take and make a pass, and play with skill, the best part being his ability to score goals at even strength (Virtanen leads his team with 24, three ahead of Oilers prospect Greg Chase).
The problem for the Oilers is that Virtanen is yet another winger. How on earth can they add another impact winger? I’m not sure, maybe they continue the Hall at center experiment or maybe they cash a winger for a center. I think there’s a chance Virtanen is going to find a way into this year’s top 5—perhaps behind Ekblad, Reinhart and Bennett and ahead of Draisaitl and Dal Colle.
I mentioned Virtainen previously here.