He is too expert to play in opposition to gamers his personal age, however Podkolzin is not being given the chance to showcase his expertise in opposition to prime competitors within the KHL, both.Vasily Podkolzin and Sergei Shmelyov|Dmitry Feoktistov/TASS by way of Getty ImagesFew prospects have as polarizing as Vasily Podkolzin was forward of his draft yr. Previous to final June, it appeared no person may agree the place he belonged within the rankings, some suggesting he was the third-best participant accessible and others placing Podkolzin far down the record as a late first-rounder. It didn’t assist issues that with two years left on his KHL deal, some have been skeptical as as to whether he’d come over to the NHL anytime quickly, this regardless of feedback on the draft mix saying he was NHL-bound as quickly as his contract with SKA St. Petersburg was full.
However amid all of the conjecture, the Vancouver Canucks have been the primary to take a shot, choosing Podkolzin 10th general with some pundits calling it one of many draft’s largest steals. The 2019-20 marketing campaign was seen as his alternative to show his (many) doubters unsuitable.
Right here we’re, although, just a few months into the marketing campaign, and that hasn’t been the case. In 11 KHL video games, Podkolzin has didn’t register a single level, in the meantime he’s seemingly confirmed too good for the Russian junior league with some believing he would dominate the second-tier Russian league if he spent the total marketing campaign there.
Because it pertains to the KHL, most of Podkolzin’s struggles boil right down to alternative. A robust SKA St. Petersburg group isn’t all that involved in creating gamers for the NHL, and as such, Podkolzin has been used sparingly – although even that is likely to be a beneficiant time period for it. By way of the 11 video games wherein he’s appeared, he has a four:09 ice time common, has skated a single shift as a fourth-liner in three separate contests and has solely skated 10 or extra shifts in two contests. No surprise he’s failed to search out the scoresheet.
However that’s why the Canada-Russia Collection was presupposed to be so vital for a participant whom many have tabbed as considered one of Russia’s most vital with the World Junior Championship on the horizon. Nonetheless, regardless of usually wanting like Russia’s most harmful forwards and main all gamers with 15 pictures heading into the ultimate sport of the collection, Podkolzin has only one power-play help to his credit score.
Would he have been extra productive through the six-game exhibition collection had he been extra lively again residence? That’s the sensation a minimum of one Russian scout has. “Podkolzin oozes talent, energy and velocity, however he not often will get to show that within the KHL,” the scout stated. “When he’s thrown in a checking function and solely taking part in a shift or two an evening, that’s not likely improvement. You see how effectively he dominates his personal age group, however his KHL coaches gained’t give him a good shot.”
That dominance has been evident up to now, too, which makes his utilization so puzzling. He was one of the best participant by an extended shot on the World Junior A Problem final December and was unbelievable as Russia’s youngest ahead on the World Junior Championship shortly thereafter. He appeared to thrive when the highlight was on him, main Russians with 33 factors in 26 video games with the U-18 group final season, and no person was significantly near catching him.
“Podkolzin remains to be a younger child. He must get on the market, study from his errors and play as a lot as he can,” one other scout stated. “He’s too good for junior, he’s too good for second-tier hockey, he must be taking part in in opposition to males. He’s not getting that chance, and it’s irritating to look at as a result of he’s a lot better than his stat line suggests.”
Scouts have praised Podkolzin’s skill to throw an enormous hit to knock a participant off the puck or steal it and make an efficient play. Few prospects have a shot as correct as Podkolzin’s, both, and he’s not often a bystander in his personal zone. However the bottleneck in St. Petersburgh – as the one 2001-born participant, he’s caught behind veteran expertise – has seen him stapled to the bench.
There’s no clear reply as to what comes subsequent for Podkolzin. So far as the Canucks are involved, nonetheless, the hope needs to be that St. Petersburg offers him a possibility upon his returns residence and that he can collect some momentum earlier than the world juniors. He has the talent to grow to be one of the best prospect within the group’s system. He simply wants the chance to show it.
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Tags: prospects, vancouver canucksConnect: Concerning the AuthorSteven EllisSteven Ellis is a Digital Content material Producer for The Hockey Information. He spends his free time listening to music you would not like and watches obnoxiously-long motor races.