The Canuck Way Mailbag: Podkolzin, Ryan, trade talk, more

Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /
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Vasili Podkolzin, HC SKA St. Petersburgh (Photo by Peter KovalevTASS via Getty Images)
Vasili Podkolzin, HC SKA St. Petersburgh (Photo by Peter KovalevTASS via Getty Images) /

Podkolzin and Miller questions

The latest effects of COVID-19 on Vasili Podkolzin’s team, SKA St. Petersburgh, has afforded him the opportunity to get more ice time and subsequently become an impact player. It’s not an ideal situation, but the fact that he’s finally getting that ice time should be cause for celebration. However, given head coach Valeri Bragin’s propensity to limit him to fourth-line minutes in normal circumstances, it will be interesting to see how he’s deployed when everyone is healthy again.

Regardless, Podkolzin is taking advantage of it. In his first game following the outbreak, he played over 17 minutes, had three shots on goal and a blocked shot. In the next game, he had a similar amount of ice time and was noticeable again with a number of scoring chances, and even engaged in a spirited fight. He didn’t produce any points in those minutes, but if he keeps that up, the points will come eventually.

Unfortunately for Podkolzin, no matter how much of an impact he makes during the COVID-19 induced lineup change, I just don’t see Bragin changing his tactics when he gets all his regular players back. The KHL just doesn’t seem to develop its players when they know they are destined for the NHL next season. Having said that, it’s good to see him perform when given the chance.

J.T. Miller was simply a revelation for the Canucks in 2019-20, leading the team in scoring and having a career season in goals and points. He also teamed up with Pettersson and Brock Boeser to form one of the best top lines in the NHL. He’s going to be hard-pressed to repeat that performance, but I believe he can do it especially with the continued improvement of his linemates.

Miller is still only 27 years old and clearly in the prime of his career. His leadership and character combined with his offensive skills make him a difficult player to bet against. I really believe he will have a repeat season in goals and points, but he will not lead the team in scoring, that will be Pettersson’s job. With how he’s already working hard on the ice at Rogers Arena and remaining in Vancouver instead of returning to Sweden makes me believe he’s going to come out of the gates firing next season.

If Pettersson is going, his whole line will follow suit. That’s the primary reason why I think Miller will continue to produce at the same rate he did in 2019-20.

Next. Re-signing Tyler Toffoli would be a mistake. dark

With that said, another The Canuck Way mailbag has come to an end. Thank you for your questions and be sure to watch out for the Tweet announcing our next one! Until then, let’s hope the Canucks make some noise with some trades or re-signings in the next week!