Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen has re-signed with the Fischtown Pinguins of the Germany-based Deutsche Eishockey Liga.
The Pinguins made the announcement on Wednesday (June 7) that the former Yale Hockey Academy product will be back for the 2023-24 season.
Virtanen collected two goals and two assists in 16 combined regular season and playoff games for the Pinguins in 2022-23.
“It didn’t take me a second to think to make my decision for the Pinguins,” he told the Pinguins website. “I know what those responsible, but also a large part of the fan community had to put up with after my commitment last year. Now it’s my turn to give a pay back. Hopefully the season will start soon.”
The 26-year-old former Vancouver Canucks first round draft pick had a professional try-out with the Edmonton Oilers in the 2022-23 NHL preseason, but failed to make the team. He then joined EHC Visp of the Swiss League, but parted ways with the team in February after reports that he was not endearing himself to teammates.
Team manager Alfred Prey stated that he’s pleased the Pinguins stood by Virtanen after his departure from the Swiss League.
“The harder the beating, the thicker the skin,” he said, of Virtanen’s demeanour. “We got our own impression and stand by Jake. Personally, I am sure that with his likeable manner he will manage to dispel the prejudices that still exist.”
Prey added that he expects a strong season from Virtanen.
The DEL season typically begins in September and playoffs begin in March.