Jake Virtanen of Abbotsford helped Team Canada to bronze at the World U18 Hockey Championship in Finland.
The Canadians lost a heartbreaker in the semifinals, rallying from a three-goal deficit vs. the Czech Republic only to lose 4-3 in overtime. They bounced back to beat Sweden 3-1 for bronze on Sunday.
Virtanen, a 6’1”, 210-pound left winger, notched an assist vs. Sweden and finished with a team-high six points (three goals, three assists) in seven games at the U18 tourney. It’s the second time he’s worn the Maple Leaf in less than a year – he was part of Canada’s gold medal-winning team at the U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament last summer.
The 17-year-old is coming off a terrific season with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen, posting a team-leading 45 goals and 26 assists in 71 games with a +23 rating and 100 penalty minutes. He’s one of the top prospects for the upcoming NHL entry draft, and is ranked No. 6 among North American skaters in the Central Scouting rankings.