Jake Virtanen might be starting to feel like a yo-yo.
After he started the year in the NHL, the Vancouver Canucks sent Virtanen to their AHL farm team, the Utica Comets. He played two games for the Comets last weekend (no points) before being called back up to the NHL. GM Jim Benning called it a conditioning stint. But Virtanen didn’t return to the Canucks lineup after being recalled; he was scratched in both games the Canucks have played since his return. And now, the Canucks have once again sent Virtanen to the AHL.
Virtanen has just one assist in 10 games with the Canucks so far this season. He was drafted out of the WHL as a power forward, where he had a respectable 161 points in 192 games for the Calgary Hitmen. So far, Virtanen has just 14 points in 65 NHL games over two seasons.
The Canucks drafted Virtanen sixth overall in 2014, ahead of William Nylander, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Dylan Larkin. It’s still early in Virtanen’s career, but it’s hard not to think the Canucks would like a mulligan on that pick.