International Ice Hockey Federation

Virtanen joins Canada

Virtanen joins Canada

Roster for World Juniors trimmed

Published 14.12.2015 23:50 GMT+2 | Author Martin Merk
Virtanen joins Canada
Jake Virtanen skates with Team Canada in the preliminary-round game against Finland at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. Photo: Richard Wolowicz / HHOF-IIHF Images
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen will join Team Canada for the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland.

Virtanen, who was part of the team that won gold on home ice, is on loan from the Vancouver Canucks and played in Toronto Sunday afternoon for the AHL’s Utica Comets as part of a conditioning stint with the team after recovering from an injury.

He is one of four returning players from the 2015 championship team, which also included Lawson Crouse (Kingston, OHL), Joe Hicketts (Victoria, WHL) and Brayden Point (Moose Jaw, WHL).

Canada recently also added Samuel Montembeault as third goaltender and defenceman Jeremy Lauzon while several players invited to the camp will not travel with the national junior team to Finland including defencemen Jakob Chychrun, Vince Dunn, Jake Walman and forwards Michael Dal Colle, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Spencer Watson.

“Adding Jake to our roster brings another layer of leadership and experience that will benefit the team and our younger players who are going to look to Jake, Lawson, Joe, and Brayden as we move along through the championship,” said Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams, Hockey Canada. “We want to thank the Vancouver Canucks’ organization for working with us through this process.”

For Virtanen the World Juniors will also be a journey to the native country of his father Rainer, who moved to Canada in the ‘70s.

Canada now has three goaltenders, nine defencemen and 15 forwards on the roster. The final cut is expected to be done after the exhibition games against Belarus on 19 December and the Czech Republic on 20 December.

Team Canada opens its title defence campaign at the World Juniors against the United States on 26 December.


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