Jake Virtanen signs one-season deal with KHL's Spartak Moscow

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

Jake Virtanen, the former Vancouver Canucks forward who was placed on leave in May following allegations of sexual misconduct and subsequently waived by the team, has signed a one-season contract to play in the KHL as a member of Spartak Moscow.

The Russian club announced the signing on Tuesday.

Virtanen, a native of Langley, B.C., 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.

In Russia, he will now join a KHL team that features another former Canuck, Sergey Shirokov, as well as Emil Pettersson, the brother of young Canucks star Elias Pettersson.

This summer, after allegations of sexual misconduct by Virtanen surfaced, ​the Canucks issued a statement, saying that the organization "does not accept sexual misconduct of any kind and the claims were 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.

On July 25, the Canucks announced they had placed Virtannen on unconditional waivers for the purposes of a buyout, ending his tenure with the team.

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