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The Vancouver Canucks top prospect was back at it on Saturday, having another excellent performance in his second Karjala Cup game.

Vasili Podkolzin’s Russian U20 team took on a Swedish team chalked full of professional SHL players on Saturday. The game belonged to the goaltenders as Yaroslav Askarov made Nashville Predators fans feel swell about selecting him 11th overall at the 2020 NHL draft. Askarov was excellent in this game and kept Russia in it through and through.

The next best player on the ice was non other than Vasili Podkolzin.

Podkolzin had a strong, but quiet game through the first 58 minutes. He was effective in the defensive zone and gave viewers a look at his non-stop motor. He was strong on the forecheck throughout the game and made crisp passes to breakout of his own zone and carried the puck with supreme confidence when he was gaining entry into the offensive zone. He had multiple shots on net in this game and drove to the net a couple times to create scoring chances for himself.

With his team trailing 1-0 late and the goalie pulled for the extra attacker, Podkolzin made it happen for Russia.

He knocked down a puck in the corner on a clearing attempt and then read the ice and made a perfect pass onto the stick of Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Rodion Amirov. Amirov made no mistake and buried the equalizer to send this game to overtime.

Overtime was quiet for Podkolzin as the young captain received a few shifts of 3-on-3 action with no real scoring chances.

No final was established through the extra five minutes of play and we were off to a shootout.

Podkolzin shot third for Russia and would make a beautiful move to the forehand while undressing the Swedish goaltender and burying the game-winning goal.

Podkolzin was third in ice time out of the forwards and played on both the first power play and first penalty kill unit.

Vasili Podkolzin now leads the tournament in scoring after two games and has been a two-way force to go with his scoring statistics. He is being put in to prime scoring positions and making it happen when the team needs him most.

Dmitri Zlodeyev was in the lineup for Russia as the 13th forward but did not see any ice time in this game. It’s likely going to take a Russian blowout to get Zlodeyev more ice time and that may not come soon as they will face off against the Czech Republic on Sunday. Sweden lost 3-1 to Czech Republic earlier in the tournament so it should be a tough task for the Russians.

We will keep you covered on all things Podkolzin and Zlodeyev as the Karjala Cup continues. All signs are pointing in the right direction for Podkolzin and some more ice time could be coming for Zlodeyev as the tournament progresses.


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