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Canucks Prospect Signs 2-Year Extension; What it Means

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Vasily Podkolzin

The Vancouver Canucks announced Thursday that they had signed prospect Vasily Podkolzin to a two-year, $2 million extension, which keeps him with the team through 2026.

Podkolzin, 22, has been up and down between the AHL Abbotsford Canucks and Vancouver for most of his time in the organization, but his contract extension is also the fruit of the hard work he’s done in the minors this season.

Remember that in 2021-22, Podkolzin was a regular on the Canucks right away, scoring 14 goals, 12 assists, and 26 points in 79 games – all respectable totals for a rookie playing in the NHL, and North America, for the very first time.

Since then, it’s been a battle with consistency for Podkolzin, as the young Russian played in only 39 games for the Canucks last season, and managed only 19 for them this season. With Abbotsford, though, it’s been a different story.

Last year, Podkolzin had seven goals, 11 assists, and 18 points in 28 games in the AHL, while this year, he’s put up 15 goals, 13 assists, and 28 points in 44 games. Suffice to say, this has been Podkolzin’s most productive season since joining the Canucks in 2021.

It’s also worth noting that Podkolzin missed some time with Abbotsford this season after suffering a scary head injury against the Colorado Eagles back in October and took some time to round himself back into form.

Podkolzin’s contract extension with the Canucks will take him to 2026, when he’ll become a restricted free agent at the age of 25. The Canucks will still have control of his rights at that point, so it’s likely that this is a ‘prove it’ contract.

If Podkolzin does prove it, the Canucks will still be in pole position to either re-sign him or trade him for a haul if he does manage to finally enjoy a breakout season at the NHL level.

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