An update on Vasili Podkolzin with the GM of his team in the KHL.
No shortage of concern with the Canuck fan base when they look at 2019 1st round draft pick and 19 year old Vasili Podkolzin.
One look at Podkolzin’s stats and you can see why, 1 goal and 3 assists in 18 games for St. Petersburg SKA in his 2nd season in the KHL.
Today Podkolzin was sent to the VHL, a lower league.
I talked with Roman Rotenberg the vise-president and GM of SKA about the Podkolzin who is a big piece of the Canucks future.
Rotenberg still can see a player with huge NHL potential, “100%, I see the potential. He does a lot of things right, he is just not scoring. He needs to work harder, very simple and he knows that.”
Rotenberg understands the Vancouver market, he was introduced to Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini this summer by Pavel Bure.
Rotenberg knows how crazy it can get with prospects and expectations in a Canadian market, “When covid hit our team, Vasili was getting lost of ice time up to 25 minutes, he also got tired and was playing too much. We are sending him to VHL to get ready for the National junior team, get in shape, work hard and become a leader. We believe in him, the coaching staff does as well, we are working with him to be a leader.”
Many forget Podkolzin is still a teenager in a men’s league, it is not easy to rack up points says Rotenberg, , “He gets many scoring chances, he needs to improve his shot and he will. Improve the shot and a faster release and he will score more, he plays well to create the chances, he just needs to score more and he will.”
Rotenberg says Podkolzin will be fine, he understands a rabid fan base in Vancouver and the expectations.
Podkolzin has an opportunity in the next few weeks to play for the Russian national junior team under coach Igor Larionov and get success against his age group, chances are good Larionov will name Podkolzin the captain of the team.