(Vancouver Canucks/Twitter)

Canucks pick Russian forward Vasily Podkolzin 10th overall

2019 NHL entry draft ongoing in Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks picked Russian forward Vasily Podkolzin 10th overall at the NHL draft on Friday.

The 17-year-old played part of last season for St. Petersburg of the KHL and was the No. 2 European skater on the NHL Central Scouting prospect list.

Podkolzin, six-foot-one 196 pounds, captained Russia at the under-18 world championships. He had one goal and four points in seven games to help his country win silver.

The selection was announced at Rogers Arena where the Canucks are hosting this year’s draft.

Some of Vancouver’s recent first-round draft picks have quickly become key to the club’s rebuilding process.

Last year, the Canucks scooped up defenceman Quinn Hughes seventh overall. The 19-year-old made his NHL debut in March and tallied three assists before the end of the season.

Hughes was in the crowd at Rogers Arena on Friday, cheering for his younger brother, Jack Hughes, who was picked No. 1 by the New Jersey Devils.

Elias Pettersson, taken fifth overall by the Canucks in 2017, won the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year at the NHL’s annual awards ceremony on Wednesday.

The Swedish centre led Vancouver in scoring last season, posting 28 goals and 38 assists over 71 games.

RELATED: NHL Draft 2019: First-round mock selections

Despite Pettersson’s success, the Canucks missed the playoffs for the fourth year in a row, finishing the regular season fifth in the Pacific Division with a 35-36-11 record.

The lacklustre performance brought mounting pressure for the team’s general manager, Jim Benning.

Vancouver has made the playoffs just once since Benning took the reigns in 2014, and the GM has repeatedly come under fire for signing under-performing forwards like Loui Eriksson, Sam Gagner, Tim Schaller and Jay Beagle.

While the former scout has collected some talented young athletes for the Canucks, question marks remain over some of his other selections.

Defenceman Olli Juolevi, taken fifth overall in 2016, has yet to play his first NHL game after suffering a number of injuries, including knee surgery last winter.

Benning will have an opportunity to add to Vancouver’s prospect pool when the draft continues on Saturday. The Canucks have eight more picks, starting with the 40th selection.

Bowen Byram of the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants went fourth overall to the Colorado Avalanche, and Colorado added Alex Newhook of the B.C. Hockey League’s Victoria Grizzlies with the 16th overall pick.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

NHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Colorado Avalanche select Alex Newhook during the first round NHL draft at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Friday, June, 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Just Posted

Abbotsford playgrounds to re-open Monday

City urges public to bring hand-sanitizer and maintain physical distancing

Police watchdog investigating after man injured during Abbotsford standoff

Man seriously injured during arrest on May 21 at Abbotsford hotel room

New executive director for Fraser Valley Child Development Centre

Karen Dickenson Smith succeeds Karen McLean, who has retired after 22 years

Annual Walk for Alzheimer’s goes online on May 31

Event held every year in Abbotsford now raising funds through virtual event

UPDATE: Man from Mexico reported missing in Abbotsford has been located

Police report that Antonio Fernandez, 29, has been found safe and sound

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Most Read