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First-round draft pick in 2019 out of Russia taking part in the NHL team’s prospects mini-camp at Rogers Arena this weekend
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Vasily Podkolzin hits the ice at Canucks prospects mini-camp at Rogers Arena on Friday. ‘We’ve been everywhere and downtown stood out for me,’ he said of his time so far in Vancouver. ‘I’ve been everywhere except Stanley Park.’ Photo by Jason Payne /PNG Article content
From the first moment Vasily Podkolzin faced the Vancouver media — even with Zoom as an intermediary — his confidence was clear.
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No, he’s not worried about cultural adjustment.
Yes, he and his wife are getting an English tutor.
Yes, he understands English well but still wants to get better.
“For interviews,” he joked in English.
Picked 10th overall in the 2019 NHL Draft, Podkolzin played two seasons in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League for SKA St. Petersburg. He played mostly depth minutes, though his role grew bigger over the course of the second half of last season.
There had been some pressure to stay, he admitted.
“I’ve been in a couple unpleasant situations in the KHL, but overall I’m very grateful for my experience over the two years and I’m happy to be here,” he said.
For the big Russian’s first full interview…