The Russian colony is growing steadily in Vancouver. The former workplace of the legendary Pavel Bure welcomes more Russians. This is grist to the mill for young Vasilij Podkolzin, who is looking forward to his second season among the elite. He did the first one well.
do you remember Podkolzin was supposed to be in the top five selected players in the 2019 draft. It didn’t happen, because he fell to the tenth position, where the Canucks didn’t hesitate and selected the native of Moscow.
But he first appeared in the NHL last season. Except for three games, he managed a complete portion, finishing the year with twenty-six points. In addition to adapting to the ice, he also got used to the surroundings. This summer he didn’t even need a translator, he managed everything himself.
“I remember arriving in Vancouver last year. I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t know who was who,” he said recently. “I arrived a few days ago and felt at home. I went to my locker in the cabin and everyone waved, we hugged.’
He will now be able to hug with two other compatriots. The Canucks caught two quality names on the market in the form of Ilya Mikheev and Andrey Kuzmenko. While the former is an established name in the NHL, the latter is awaiting his first season in the NHL, despite the fact that he is already twenty-six.
“They’re great guys, I’m fine with it,” he beamed. “Oh my god, I’m really excited.”
Plus, he can be Kuzmenko’s mentor after wandering around Vancouver. They are good friends, after all, they played three seasons together in the jersey of the lively St. Petersburg. “He’s terribly funny,” he added to Kuzmenka’s address.
But the big season is mainly waiting for Podkolzina. If he uses the knowledge he gained last year, he can be twice as good.
“Compared to the KHL, everyone is stronger and faster. Speed in particular is a huge factor,” he noted. “If you don’t have it, you can’t play in the NHL. That’s also why I was in the gym more. I also started skating much earlier. I’m still young, the body has no problem with that.”
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