Canucks Prospect Report: Vasili Podkolzin is NHL ready

Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Vasili Podkolzin, Vancouver Canucks. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
Vasili Podkolzin, Vancouver Canucks. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /

When can we expect to see Podkolzin in a Canucks jersey?

The intricacies of bringing Podkolzin to the NHL are complicated. But essentially, Podkolzin’s KHL contract ends on April 30th, and unless he is selected to play in the IIHF World Championships (should there be one), the Canucks can ask for his release so he can join the team.

Practically speaking, there is a realistic chance that SKA goes deep into the Gagarin Cup playoffs, so an early release is probably out of the question. Further, Podkolzin could very well play in the World Championships.

VIA’s Daniel Wagner notes that Russia could bring Podkolzin along for the tournament, especially considering the national team setup is grooming him to lead the next generation of Russian players.

However, the elevated risk of COVID-19 could play into the Canucks’ favour, as there isn’t any guarantee that the tournament is held.

Given the current NHL timeline, should the Canucks sign Podkolzin and bring him to Canada on April 30th, he would be able to join the team in the middle of a first-round playoff series after he completes his mandatory 14-day quarantine.

So, while we don’t know for certain whether or not Podkolzin will join the Canucks at the end of the season, we do know that General Manager Jim Benning cannot wait to get him signed.

Jim Benning has highly praised Podkolzin in the past, going as far as to say that he sees him as a linemate for Bo Horvat & Tanner Pearson.

Regardless, Podkolzin will fit into the Canucks lineup nicely, and his esteemed two-way profile will raise the ceiling of whomever he plays with. His long-awaited NHL arrival is the natural next step for Vancouver’s latest first-round success story.

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Stay tuned every Monday for our weekly Prospects Report, and let us know in the comments how you think Podkolzin might fit with the Canucks!