Canucks place Jake Virtanen on leave following sexual misconduct allegations

The Vancouver Canucks have placed forward Jake Virtanen, 24, on leave after “concerning allegations” surfaced against the player on Saturday.

“Our organization does not accept sexual misconduct of any kind and the claims as reported are being treated very seriously,” the Canucks said in a statement.

“We have engaged external expertise to assist in an independent investigation and we have placed [Virtanen] on leave as we await more information.

No charges have been laid, and neither Virtanen nor his representatives have responded to the allegations.

An NHL spokesperson said Saturday the league is aware of the serious allegations and will not comment until the results of the independent investigation are complete.

Virtanen, who hails from Langley, B.C., was drafted sixth overall by Vancouver in 2014. He has five points, all goals, in 38 games this season.

The Canucks face the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday.

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