Canucks place Jake Virtanen on unconditional waivers for purposes of buyout

Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen. (Larry MacDougal/CP)

The Vancouver Canucks have placed forward Jake Virtanen on unconditional waivers for the purposes of a buyout.

The 24-year-old has been on leave from the team since May following allegations of sexual misconduct.

On May 1, the Canucks released a statement about said allegations, stating that the organization "does not accept sexual misconduct of any kind and the claims as reported are being treated very seriously." The team also noted it had "engaged external expertise to assist in an independent investigation" and that Virtanen would be on leave while more information was sought.

Later that month, a civil lawsuit was filed alleging that Virtanen had sexually assaulted a woman in West Vancouver in September 2017.

The statement of claim, filed in Kelowna, B.C., said the woman suffered physical and emotional damages, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and repeated and ongoing nightmares. Virtanen denied the allegation in a response filed on June 1, asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

The Langley, B.C., native has spent all six years of his NHL career with the Canucks organization, joining the franchise as the sixth-overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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