The Edmonton Oilers have signed Jake Virtanen to a professional tryout agreement two months after the former Vancouver forward was found not guilty of sexual assault.
Virtanen was charged in January in connection with an incident in a downtown Vancouver hotel room in September 2017.
He was a right-winger for the Canucks when the allegations surfaced in May 2021. The team placed him on leave and bought out his contract the following month.
The case was heard in B.C. Supreme Court, and a jury returned a verdict of not guilty on July 26.
The 26-year-old from Abbotsford, B.C., appeared in 36 games for Spartak Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League last season, scoring nine goals and adding seven assists.
Selected by the Canucks sixth overall in the 2014 NHL draft, Virtanen has recorded 55 goals, 45 assists and 219 penalty minutes over six NHL seasons.
The Oilers also signed 34-year-old defenceman Jason Demers to a professional tryout agreement.
Demers, from Laval, Que., played five games with the KHL’s AK Bars Kazan last season and had two assists in five games for Canada at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
Demers was selected by San Jose in the seventh round of the 2008 draft.
He has 45 goals, 169 assists and 407 penalty minutes over 699 games with the San Jose, Dallas, Florida and Arizona.
He had four assists in 41 games for the Coyotes in the 2020-21 season.
The Oilers open training camp this week.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 19, 2022.