The Vancouver Canucks have seen rookie Jake Virtanen develop into one of their more heavy-hitting forwards during his first season of pro hockey with the organization – but after a blindside hit during the team’s game against the San Jose Sharks earlier this week, he’ll have to report to the league’s disciplinary committee for it.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety confirmed on Wednesday morning that Virtanen, who currently sits on 120 recorded hits through 51 NHL games this year, will have a hearing with the league for a blindside hit to Sharks defenseman Roman Polak:
Vancouver's Jake Virtanen will have a hearing today for interference on San Jose's Roman Polak.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) March 30, 2016
The hit earned Virtanen a major penalty and a game misconduct, so to see him also get a hearing for it – something the league may not have done if they assumed his on-ice punishment was enough – isn’t good news for either Virtanen or the Canucks.
Through his 51 games played this season in Vancouver, Virtanen- who was selected sixth overall by the Canucks at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft – has recorded seven goals and 13 points. If he is suspended, the Canucks could be without the young forward as early as tomorrow, when the club heads to San Jose for a rematch against the Sharks. Vancouver will play all three California teams next before finishing out their season with two games against the Edmonton Oilers and one against the Calgary Flames.