Will Jake Virtanen begin the year in the American Hockey League? Or has the 2014 sixth-overall pick done enough this preseason to crack the Canucks’ opening night roster?

The 21-year-old forward has 65 games worth of NHL experience since he was selected, but with the number of forwards in camp this month, making the team promised to be a battle for Virtanen, who didn’t necessarily post overwhelming numbers down in Utica last season when he was sent down.

With one preseason game remaining on the Canucks’ schedule, Virtanen has so far been up to the challenge. On Thursday, he notched his third goal in exhibition play. The sequence started with Virtanen picking off a Flames pass inside the Vancouver blue line and leading the transition to the attack.

“I’m not going to worry about that,” Virtanen said of the team’s upcoming roster decisions, following Thursday’s game versus the Flames. “I love when I can get in games. Whatever opportunity you can get, you want to make the most of it.”