Jake Virtanen will have the final season of his contract bought out by the Vancouver Canucks.
The 24-year-old forward was placed on unconditional waivers Sunday for the purpose of a buyout, Canucks general manager Jim Benning confirmed.
Virtanen, who will become an unrestricted free agent, scored five goals in 38 games this season but was placed on leave May 1 following allegations of sexual misconduct. He was in the first season of a two-year, $5.1 million contract (average annual value $2.55 million) he signed with Vancouver on Oct. 22, 2020, after scoring an NHL career-high 36 points (18 goals, 18 assists) in 69 games in 2019-20.
“Our organization does not accept sexual misconduct of any kind, and the claims as reported are being treated very seriously by us,” the Canucks said in a statement at the time of the allegations.
“We have engaged external expertise to assist in an independent investigation and we have placed the player on leave as we await more information.”
Virtanen denied the allegations in court documents, the Canadian Press reported June 10.
Selected by Vancouver with the No. 6 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, Virtanen has scored 100 points (55 goals, 45 assists) in 317 regular-season games, and three points (two goals, one assist) in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff games.