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Virtanen jumps up to No. 6 in Central Scouting rankings

Abbotsford native Jake Virtanen was ranked No. 6 among North American skaters in the final Central Scouting rankings released Tuesday. - Brad Watson / Calgary Hitmen
Abbotsford native Jake Virtanen was ranked No. 6 among North American skaters in the final Central Scouting rankings released Tuesday.
— image credit: Brad Watson / Calgary Hitmen

Abbotsford hockey prospect Jake Virtanen saw his stock rise in the latest NHL Central Scouting rankings.

Virtanen was No. 9 in the Central Scouting midterm ranking of North American skaters released in mid-January, and he jumped up to No. 6 in the final edition released on Tuesday.

The 6'1", 208-pound winger is coming off a terrific sophomore season with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League. The 17-year-old racked up 45 goals and 26 assists for 71 points in 71 regular season games, to go with a +23 rating and 100 penalty minutes. His goal-scoring total was tops on the Hitmen and sixth overall in the WHL.

Virtanen projects as a prototypical power forward, and he was rated No. 1 out of 40 players during on-ice testing at the CHL Top Prospects Game in January. He registered the top time in both the 30-metre forward sprint (3.92 seconds) and the 30-metre backward sprint (4.55 seconds).

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