Canucks’ J.T. Miller has high praise for prime breakout candidate Vasily Podkolzin
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
1 year ago
Vasily Podkolzin is getting the recognition that Canucks fans know he deserves from both his teammates and national media alike.
Last week, NHL.com’s Fantasy Hockey staff released their top ten breakout candidates for this year.
Here’s what they had to say about Podkolzin, who came in at fourth on their list, behind Bowen Byram, Alex Georgiev, Evan Bouchard, and Spencer Knight:
Vasily Podkolzin, LW/RW, VAN (NHL.com fantasy rank: 160) — He was fourth on the Vancouver Canucks in 5-on-5 goals per 60 minutes (0.76; minimum 20 games) last season and fifth in the category among NHL rookies (minimum 75 games) despite playing on mostly the third line with a low average ice time (12:48 per game). Podkolzin could skyrocket in fantasy if he earns a top-six role under coach Bruce Boudreau for a full season with exposure to valuable forwards J.T. Miller, Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat and/or Andrei Kuzmenko (signed one-year contract with Vancouver from Kontinental Hockey League).
Podkolzin, who turned 21 this past summer, tallied 14 goals and added 12 assists through 79 games last season.
After making the Canucks out of camp, the progression in Podkolzin’s game throughout the season was undeniable. He was being trusted with a bigger role late in games even before Bruce Boudreau was hired, and only progressed from there.
J.T. Miller — Podkolzin’s newly-extended teammate — had some very nice things to say about him earlier this week.
“I’ll say it again. He’s one of my favourite players on the team,” said Miller. “I think his biggest attribute is how humble he is and how much he wants to learn. I think that if you’re playing like that all the time, it’s gonna be hard to have a slump. It’s gonna be a hard year for him but I think he’s gonna be up for the challenge and take it in stride.
“I know everybody’s in his corner. He’s such a great kid. Like I keep saying — and I guess time will tell — but you know, he’s always in great shape and you know every year that’s not going to be a problem and I know he’s going to be excited and you know, the more comfortable he feels, the better he’s going to get and I think we’re all excited to have him on our team this year.”
As we wrote as a result of our conversation with Podkolzin last week, the Russian sophomore feels very different heading into this season than he did last year, as Vancouver now truly feels like a second home for him after a year with the Canucks under his belt.
You can read that full story here!
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