VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks have placed right-winger Jake Virtanen on leave following allegations of sexual misconduct.
The team released a statement Saturday saying it “does not accept sexual misconduct of any kind and the claims as reported are being treated very seriously.”
The Canucks say they have “engaged external expertise” to assist in an independent investigation and Virtanen has been placed on leave as the team awaits more information.
An NHL spokesperson said Saturday that the league is aware of the serious allegations and will not comment until the results of the independent investigation are complete.
Neither Virtanen nor his representatives could immediately be reached for comment on the allegations.
Virtanen, a 24-year-old native of Langley, B.C., was drafted sixth overall by Vancouver in 2014. He has five goals in 28 games with the Canucks this season.
The Canucks are set to face the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday.