Jake Virtanen IS Kylo Ren

There are many times I write absolutely irrelevant posts and get ripped apart, this might be one of those. Also, I am not attaching a spoiler alert to this guy because honestly…you should have seen the new Star Wars by now; it’s been a month. So what the heck am I even talking about? A simple comparison of two polarizing figures in their respective arenas (Jake literally) and a shameless excuse to fit Star Wars into a Canucks post. 

I’ll try and keep it to the point.

This week’s Pass it to Bulis podcast had a heavy dose of Star Wars in it and it got me thinking about the newest spectacle “The Force Awakens” and who might relate to some of the characters. I’m probably wrong on this as I really wanted to compare Zack Kassian but he isn’t a Canuck anymore and that would ring on deaf ears.

I’m not so sure this won’t.

So Kylo Ren is the new villian in the Star Wars saga and he’s dealing with some personal issues, not to mention he has a slight case of FD (forcetial disfunction). He got the force from his mom Leia so its really like 3rd generation force and it just isn’t strong enough. Ren took over as the Dark Side captain but he struggles to live up to the potential that’s been placed on him by Snoke (new supreme leader) and the force itself.

Was he ready for the force? Is he going to be Vader when he grows up or will he just be another guy that joins the Dark Side and has angst. We’ll know soon enough in a few years.

Not so much unlike rookie Canucks winger Jake Virtanen. Jake was given the mantle as the next star winger that has size, a booming hit and finishing skills. He won’t be Todd Bertuzzi, Cam Neely or really the illusion we had of Zack Kassian before the bottom fell out. Virtanen has a great frame, clearly has skill with the puck and without; his “murders” are anticipated every single game and he’s still raw.

Kylo Ren and Jake Virtanen are at the beginning of their journeys where one needs to decide if he truly is evil and can destroy the Jedi’s existence while the other one is figuring out how to fit his role with the body and talent he’s been given.

Virtanen started his season with promise; he made some monster hits early on, the McDavid one still being everyone’s favourite, but then after being granted opening night status, slowly began to fade. OK, he’s totally green to the NHL and everyone has a different path on how they get there but it got to the point where it seemed Jake needed some kind of wake up call.

Sending him to the World Juniors was supposed to be that wake up call. Turns out, Big Country had a forgettable tournament and joined the rest of his Canada team mates when they went home before the semis. Jake came back with a chip on his shoulder and a headline that could crush any kid. He turned that into confidence and he’s now getting the feel for the game on his own terms.

He isn’t dealing with the force or a a giant digital head telling him what to do; Jake Virtanen is learning the NHL game and he’s been given an opportunity that clearly Kylo Ren turned down when the Resistance came to turn him back against the Dark Side. Jake’s development won’t be a steep learning curve, he’ll need guidance he’s getting more and more chances to show what he can do.

With a few goals on the season already, might we see the Force Awak….no, that was just bad. You can stop reading now.

Follow me on twitter: @always90four

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