Vasili Podkolzin Scouting Report
- Upside: Top Line Scoring Right Winger
- Floor: 2nd Line Scoring Right Winger
- Comparable: Alexander Radulov
This is my scouting report for St. Petersburg Right Winger Vasili Podkolzin. By his standards, Podkolzin didn’t have a great U18 tournament but I don’t think that should erase all of his prior outstanding performances this season. I don’t think that he had the same kind of top-end talent to play with; when comparing with many other players in this draft. I thought he still played well and led his team to a silver medal that came within one overtime goal of the gold medal. Besides, he was incredible at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup; leading all players in points. He was also excellent at the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge – again leading all scorers.
I love the way this kid plays the game. He’s a terrific skater even though he has a bit of a ‘hunched-over skating stride’ – he can overtake defenders by putting his shoulder down and accelerating past defenders and finishing with lightning quick hands in tight. This is a player who is always focused on driving the offense into the other teams end.
He is imaginative, has strong anticipation and possesses a high hockey IQ – he tends to control the play whether that’s 5-on-5 or on the power play – it flows through him. He is the type of player that is extremely dangerous… if you give him an inch, he’ll take a mile and he’ll make you pay at every turn. He is very strong on the puck and he hangs on to it until there is a play to make – he draws a lot of penalties that way.
What I like most about Podkolzin besides everything I just wrote above is that he’s a fierce competitor and a battler. You watch him play and there is nothing ‘ho-hum’ about this guy… he wants to win, he wants to be the best and it shows. There were a few plays where he made me go ‘wow’ out loud : a game against Sweden where they were losing 1-0; Podkolzin went in with the puck against the boards but was neutralized and lost the puck, he went right back in, regained control and created a scoring chance.
Another time, the puck was stalled behind the net and he just plowed through and came out the other side with the puck – it was like it was HIS puck. I just love that kind of compete and determination. This is the type of player that plays until the buzzer – his game is built for the NHL.
My comparable for Vasili Podkolzin is Alex Radulov as they are both about the same size, they are both left-handed shots that prefer to play on the right side and more importantly – they are both highly competitive and passionate about winning. He may stay in Russia for another couple of years but I feel he’ll be worth the wait.
- TSN – #8
- Central Scouting – #2 ES
- ISS – #6
- Future Considerations – #4
- McKeens – #11
- THN – #5
- Craig Button – #9
- Hockey Prospect – #7
REFERENCE via HF BOARDS