Canucks prospect Podkolzin injured after nasty hit to head

Feb 16 2021, 12:00 pm

Vasily Podkolzin took a nasty hit to the head today, forcing him to leave his KHL game with an injury.

The 19-year-old Vancouver Canucks prospect took a shoulder to the head from 6-foot-2 former NHLer Jori Lehtera and was slow to get up. Podkolzin never saw the hit coming, as Lehtera caught him from the blindside, just after the young Russian spun away from another player after moving the puck.

Podkolzin was slow to get up, needed help getting off the ice, and according to Chris Faber of Canucks Army, he left the game and didn’t return.

The Canucks have high hopes for Podkolzin, who was their 10th overall selection at the 2019 NHL Draft. Team owner Francesco Aquilini included the two-way winger in his series of tweets over the weekend, saying, “our hockey group believes Podkolzin will step right into the lineup.”

Podkolzin is eligible to join the Canucks after his KHL season ends, assuming he is not picked to play in the IIHF World Championships. If all goes well, he could join the Canucks before the end of the NHL season, which concludes on May 8.

The Moscow native has 11 points (5-6-11) in 33 KHL games with SKA St. Petersburg this season. He also scored four points (2-2-4) in seven games at the World Juniors in Edmonton.

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