Former Canuck Jake Virtanen charged with sexual assault

Vancouver Police Department charge former NHL striker Jake Virtanen with one count of sexual assault stemming from an incident in 2017 while he was playing for the Vancouver Canucks. Virtanen, 25, currently plays for Spartak in the KHL.

In May of last year, Canucks give Virtanen leave according to the original charges. In July, they bought final year of his contract, making him an unrestricted freelancer. The team will exercise the $500K cap hit next season as a result of the buyback after making $50K this season.

A civil lawsuit was filed in May 2021. In response, Virtanen denied the allegations. At the time of the initial allegations, Canucks issued the following statement:

We are aware of the allegations regarding Jake Virtanen. Our organization does not accept sexual misconduct of any kind and complaints such as those reported are taken very seriously by us.

We have asked an outside expert to assist in an independent investigation and we have dismissed the player as we await further information.

Virtanen is not currently in custody.

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