Edmonton Oilers release Jake Virtanen from professional tryout offer

EDMONTON — Jake Virtanen's tryout stint with the Edmonton Oilers is over.

The club released the 26-year-old former Vancouver Canuck from his professional tryout offer on Thursday.

The unrestricted free agent, who was looking to play himself back into the National Hockey League, registered one assist in six pre-season games with the Oilers.

Edmonton extended the PTO to Virtanen on Sept. 19, two months after the Abbotsford, B.C., native was found not guilty of sexual assault.

Virtanen was charged in January in connection with an incident in a downtown Vancouver hotel room in September 2017.

He was a right-winger for the Canucks when the allegations surfaced in May 2021. The team placed him on leave and bought out his contract the following month.

The case was heard in B.C. Supreme Court, and a jury returned a verdict of not guilty on July 26.

Virtanen made his NHL debut in 2015 with his hometown Canucks, but he never lived up to the hype that came with being the No. 6 pick in the 2014 draft.

He spent part of the 2021-22 season with Spartak Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League, but fled Russia when the war began in Ukraine.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2022.

The Canadian Press