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Magnification: Video Analysis of Canucks’ Prospects Best Performances Last Week

Magnification is a series that takes a period by period look at the best performances from Canucks’ prospects throughout the past week.

Kontinental Hockey League: HC Sochi vs SKA St Petersburg Photo by Dmitry Feoktistov\TASS via Getty Images

Editor’s Note: Our prospect coverage here on Nucks Misconduct has received a serious shot of adrenaline. Please welcome Daniel Gee (@DanielGScouting on Twitter) who is beginning to produce a weekly feature on the Canucks’ prospects.

Vasily Podkolzin

November 22nd- (KHL) 11:55 TOI

On Friday, November 22nd, after taking part in the CIBC Canada vs. Russia series, Vasily Podkolzin returned to regular season action in the KHL. Podkolzin skated on the second line, taking semi-regular shifts. He ended up playing 11:55 which was his personal highest KHL TOI of the season. Podkolzin has been relegated to a fourth line or extra forward role for the majority of his time in the KHL, so it is a great development to see him above 10 minutes in ice time per game.

Let’s break down his performance in each period of this game.

Period 1

  • 0:36 - Something that you see quite often if you watch Podkolzin frequently is this breakout play. He employs it almost every game. You can see he goes to the side boards to help with the defensive zone breakout. He makes a backhand pass to his linemates who are leaving the defensive zone. From the multitudes of games that I have watched, I think it is safe to say that Podkolzin’s passing, is not only good, it’s one of the best aspects of his game. Particularly his ability to dish passes on his backhand.
  • 0:44 - Podkolzin jumps off the bench and intercepts a clearing, Podkolzin quickly passes the puck up to a team mate waiting to enter the offensive zone. Podkolzin’s anticipation and ability to read plays stands out when you watch him. In many viewings you will notice that picking off errant passes, and transitioning quickly to the attack make up a big part of why he is dangerous.
  • 0:52 - Podkolzin tries to apply pressure on an opposing forward but is caught a bit flat footed. After a short battle in the corner, Podkolzin slips into body position along the boards and makes a very nice pass to a teammate open in the middle of SKA’s defensive zone. This pass, although it had a good result, is a riskier option to take with so many bodies in between himself and the player he was trying to reach.
  • 1:47 - Podkolzin is on for a goal against. The puck carrier has an open man in the middle of the ice who had poor coverage. That SEV player was able to snap a shot in. As soon as the pass is made, Podkolzin reaches to poke the puck or disrupt the stick, but he is just out of reach.
  • 1:57 - Podkolzin takes the puck at the red line and moves laterally stick handling past an aggressive forecheck. Podkolzin is able to enter the zone, but he is angled off. He then attempts a button-hook turn but loses the handle. I have seen this exact play before from Podkolzin in many games. The reason this play fails might be due to shift fatigue and the fact that he will sometimes be surrounded with pressure without support. In this play he skates himself into a triad of SEV players. Podkolzin will often look to pass after he has an entry like this. In the VHL I have seen it lead to high danger scoring chances.

Period 2

  • 0:02 - As Podkolzin’s teammate is attempting a wrap-around, Podkolzin drifts to the net. The rebound flies by Podkolzin with great velocity.
  • 0:12 Podkolzin exits the puck from the defensive zone. SKA enters the offensive zone and Podkolzin goes to the net. As Podkolzin battles for the net front presence, and a quick shot comes through. Podkolzin then bares down on the stick of a SEV player to stop the clearing attempt. He almost gains possession but the puck is swept away from him.
  • 0:38 - Another backhand pass to a streaking SKA teammate to exit the defensive zone. As the play continues the puck comes to Podkolzin and he sends a pass to a teammate in the middle of the ice, who then fires the puck on net.
  • 1:40 - Podkolzin speeds through the neutral zone hoping for a pass. He eventually drifts to an open area of the ice above the faceoff circles and receives a back pass. Podkolzin fires the puck on the net but it is stopped.
  • 2:10 - Another example of Podkolzin’s anticipation. He intercepts a pass and quickly sends it to a streaking SKA player who gets a high danger scoring chance.

Period 3

  • 0:23 - A three on two forms, Podkolzin drifts back as the trailer. As Podkolzin moves towards the net and big rebound pops out and hits him in the skate. He tries to redirect it with his stick but ends up putting it wide. Podkolzin did redirect the puck with his skate, so you have to believe that the thought process was to try and get a stick on the puck as the goal wouldn’t have counted.
  • 0:53 - This shift is Podkolzin in a nutshell. He grabs the puck with speed and powers into the offensive zone. He gets forced to the boards and loses the puck — but he keeps after it. Podkolzin then buries the SEV player he was battling with. He has a shot attempt which deflects and goes wide.
  • 1:13 - Third example of his anticipation. He picks off another pass but opts to clear the puck.
  • 2:00 - Another full speed rush through the neutral zone. This time he takes the puck into the corner and loses it. He quickly helps his line regain possession by baring down on the puck carriers stick.

November 23rd - VHL (1 Goal)

Podkolzin scored the OT winner on November 23rd for SKA- Neva of the VHL. Podkolzin will regularly be sent down to the VHL to play for SKA-Neva on off days for his KHL club. Earlier in the season, Podkolzin had an extended period of time with the VHL club where he remained in the league. This situation works out well for Podkolzin if both the KHL and VHL games are at home in St. Petersburg.

Period 1

  • 0:08 - Podkolzin had a very similar play to Quinn Hughes and J.T. Miller vs Washington. He uses his stick to help his teammate on the back check. It’s pretty interesting to see this play happen twice in a short amount of time.
  • 0:34 - Podkolzin is turned the opposite direction as play turns up the ice. Podkolzin stick checks the puck carrier but stops moving his feet. The opposing player escapes and gets a chance but 2020 NHL Draft Prospect Yaroslav Askarov makes the save.
  • 0:49 - Podkolzin skates hard after the puck and harasses the defenseman in the corner. The puck is cleared shortly after. This is one of the qualities that endears many who like Podkolzin as a player. Podkolzin will typically work at his maximum effort every shift. I know the irony of saying this after the previous point talked about how he stopped moving his feet, but it is still true. Podkolzin plays hard on the vast majority of his shifts.
  • 0:58 - Podkolzin sends a cross ice pass to a teammate who has an open lane into the offensive zone. He breaks into the offensive zone and before he goes behind the net he sends a tape pass to a teammate. I talked earlier about his ability to pass the puck and I think this shift really encapsulates that point.

Period 2

  • 0:04 - Podkolzin goes to the net front while a teammate with possession swings around the net with pressure. A great pass is made and Podkolzin gets two wacks at the puck — both stopped. I think this play shows off Podkolzin’s situational awareness well. He recognizes that his teammate is going to be able to complete the pass to him as the pressure was somewhat weak. You also get to see Podkolzin’s strength— he essentially brushes off the defender and gets free reign in front.
  • 0:56 - This is something you see from Podkolzin on occasion. You will see him get caught watching the play unfold. It looks weird because he stands very still. A little later in this shift he gets hit very hard as the puck goes through his legs. He slams his stick on the ice in anger. Podkolzin then quickly starts on the forecheck and eventually takes a penalty. He does nullify the shot.
  • 1:44 - Podkolzin establishes good body position getting in front of a forechecker. This allows him to breakaway and transition to the attack. He makes a nice pass once he enters the offensive zone, and then just barely misses cradling the rebound.
  • 2:00 - The feed cut it off, but seconds earlier in this clip, Podkolzin had the puck. The video died and Podkolzin was on the ice blocking the cross seem pass. Good recovery on a broken play.

Period 3

  • 0:17 - In a back checking situation, Podkolzin has a one hand on stick slash to the puck carrier. Podkolzin gains traction cutting the angle off and hits the puck carrier HARD.
  • 0:37 - Podkolzin picks the puck up behind the net, gets his feet moving, and powers through the neutral zone. He enters the offensive zone and breaks through the defenders but the puck gets away from him. You have to love watching a sequence like this. Although he does lose the puck, you can see how much of an intimidating force Podkolzin can be, especially with a head of steam.
  • 0:52 - Podkolzin makes a great defensive play pick pocketing a play bursting to the net. He was feeling the effects of this shift.
  • 1:29 - Podkolzin is able to make a great defensive play to nullify a defensive zone entry.
  • 1:47 - He is almost able to send his teammate in for a breakaway in OT.
  • 1:57 - This is just an incredible shift by Podkolzin. Tracks down the puck carrier and swats him away creating a turn over. He then powers into the offensive zone, gets close to the net, but sends the shot wide. Podkolzin’s teammate retrieves the puck ads sends it to Podkolzin infront and he is able to score! He goes nuts after.

Tyler Madden & Aidan McDonough

November 22nd - NCAA (Madden 3G, 1A) (McDonough 1G, 2A)

The Canucks and Northeastern duo of Tyler Madden and Aidan McDonough ran rampant vs. Maine on November 22nd. Madden posted three goals and one assist, while McDonough registered three points himself. Tyler Madden is sitting fifth in the entire NCAA with 19 points in 14 games played, while freshmen McDonough has nine points in 11 games to start his collegiate career.

Period 1

  • 0:00 - Less than two minutes in the game Madden and McDonough break into the offensive zone. Madden passes off to McDonough, and McDonough back to Madden who goes backhand to forehand for a pretty goal. You have to appreciate the skill on this play, and McDonough’s ability to get the puck back to Madden. The goal itself really showcases Madden’s soft touch with the puck
  • 0:37 - Madden is deep in his own zone helping to retrieve a puck that is pinned to the boards. Eventually, Madden is able to get it free to breakout of the Northeastern zone. As the puck is moved up the ice, notice the play McDonough makes on the blue line. He lifts the stick of the Maine defender which allows Madden to break into the offensive zone unimpeded. Madden switches to forehand and while under pressure, he gets it back to McDonough. McDonough uses his size and strength to hold off a Maine checker while completing a pass and Madden ends up with an open net and a goal. Madden with 2 goals early in the first, with primary assists going to McDonough.
  • 1:29 - Check out the hands on Madden. He eludes a defender with a huge toe drag and spins off to continue to cycle in Maine’s zone.
  • 1:52 - This is just a monster PK shift for Madden. First, he skates down the puck carrier and strips him of the puck. He moves into the offensive zone and lets a slapshot fly. Later in the shift he makes a really nice pass to Felipe who has a high danger chance in close. Madden is almost able to knock in a loose puck after chaos in front of the Maine net.

Period 2

  • 0:33 - Madden receives a pass in the slot and gets a weak shot off—goes wide. This is an example of Madden’s ability to drift into high danger areas. He knows where he needs to go to be dangerous.
  • 0:48 - Madden takes the puck and immediately has pressure. He stops up and spins to avoid a check. He takes the puck to the net (there wasn’t really much options to pass) and he gets a backhand off.
  • 0:56 - Madden scores his hat trick goal here. He cuts up the middle of the ice and he one-time whips the puck in the net after a beautiful saucer pass landed on his tape. You gotta love his celebration.
  • 1:39 - Another example of Madden’s stick handling ability. He uses the between the defenders leg deke, cuts behind the net, and is eventually stopped up and stripped of the puck.
  • 1:56 - Madden, while cutting through the centre of Maine’s defensive zone, passes off to McDonough who just misses the net. This is another great opportunity for the Canucks prospects. It is already a really dangerous line this season for Northeastern.

Period 3

  • 0:08 - While on the PP, Madden makes a backhand pass to Solow in the slot. Solow makes a great pass to McDonough who fires a goal top shelf. Madden has four points and McDonough has three.
  • 0:43 - Madden is a regular on Northeastern’s PK unit. On this shift he blocks a shot a takes the puck up the ice. Madden cuts to the middle, attempts a deke to get by the first defender but the puck is knocked away. I like this play because it shows of Madden’s creativity and quick decision making. He was looking to cut by the first defender and get it to Fossier for a tap in, but Fossier cut and knocked the puck away from Madden. You could argue that Fossier was setting a pick so Madden could walk around alone as well.
  • 1:42 - Madden is tripped up after a forehand/backhand deke. This reminds me of how Elias Pettersson draws the majority of his PP’s. Being elusive, and putting defenders in uncomfortable positions is major asset for drawing penalties.

Kole Lind

November 23rd- AHL (2 Assists)

Kole Lind has to be happy with how his second Pro season is going. Currently Lind is sitting with 14 points in 19 games played, and is just three points off from matching his 17 points from his rookie campaign. Lind looks faster, more confident, and is being put in positions to succeed. In this game, Lind skated with fellow 2017 2nd round pick Jonah Gadjovich and AHL veteran Carter Camper. Utica is undermanned with the rash of injuries the Canucks have gone through. Lind was able to record two assists on November 23rd.

Period 1

  • 0:25 - Utica PP- Lind positions himself in the middle of the ice making himself available to tip the puck on net. Boucher does a great job aiming for Lind’s stick with a shot. The puck ends up going wide. Lind was used frequently as the bumper (player positioned in the middle of the diamond or box formation of the penalty killers) in this game.
  • 0:37 - Lind enters the Laval zone with speed. Jonah Gadjovich is streaking hard to the net with a defender on his back. Lind gets to the middle of the dot and sends it cross ice to Gadjovich who has his stick planted on the ice. I believe the puck ends up going off of Gadjovich’s skate, but there’s no redirection. Great vision by Lind, and good on Gadjovich for going to the net.
  • 1:32 - Lind forechecks hard on this shift. He gets in behind the net, attempts to poke the puck away, and after a board battle, Utica is able to turn over the puck. Rafferty moves in but is halted. Lind and the Comets continue to cycle the puck in the Laval zone putting pressure on their defense. This entire play was only possible due to hard work from Lind. When people talk about the evolution of his game in the past year, you can look to a shift like this as being a indicator of improved confidence and experience at the pro level.

Period 2

  • 0:30 - Lind turns when entering the zone on the PP. He hits an open Camper , who then passes it to Goldobin for an easy goal. This is Lind’s second and final assist of the game. There was an over commitment by Laval defenders which opened up even more room for Camper and Goldobin. Lind still had make a very nice pass with two defenders on him.
  • 1:21 - Very similar puck protection and cycling as the final point in the first period. Lind protects the puck, working back and forth behind the Laval net. Eventually he makes a backhand pass to Jonah Gadjovich who has a high danger scoring chance. Shot is saved, but that is a great sequence for Lind.
  • 1:49 - On for a goal against at 1:45. Lind is so far back in the play at the end of a shift. He didn’t bother to back check as Laval was so far up the ice.
  • 2:04 - Lind is defending in this shift. He applies pressure to Karl Alzner and forces him to dump it around the boards. As a result of that the Comets were able to clear.

Period 3

  • 1:08 - Lind defending again in this shift. Lind is a bit behind the play but sees a pass is coming for his man. He reaches but cant reach the puck and the Laval player gets a glorious chance. I don’t remember if this was due to a line change or if Lind was just slow coming back. Regardless, Lind glides in and recognizes his man is open too late.
  • 2:06 - Lind has a scoring opportunity here. He breaks in on the right wing and has a lane to the net. He takes a shot but its saved.

Michael DiPietro

November 23rd -AHL (41/43 - Win)

Mikey DiPietro is off to a wonderful start to his AHL career. Sporting a 5-3-1 record, 0.923 save percentage and a 2.26 GAA, it looks like Dipietro is transitioning his junior pedigree to Pro. He was a major difference for the Utica Comets on November 23rd. DiPietro made 41 saves, many of them of the highlight reel caliber, and closed the door in the third when Laval turning their game up.

Nils Höglander

November 21st & November 23rd

I wasn’t able to watch either of these games but I wanted to include these goals. Höglander now has six points in 16 GP. In the games that I have seen this season, I have always come away thinking he’s played great. He has had limited opportunities this season power play wise, and has been limited to lower ice times in my viewings but it seems like more opportunity is be coming his way. He should be a core piece of Team Sweden in the upcoming World Juniors.


Who do you think had the best performance last week?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Vasily Podkolzin
    (8 votes)
  • 73%
    Tyler Madden
    (44 votes)
  • 1%
    Aidan McDonough
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Kole Lind
    (2 votes)
  • 8%
    Nils Hoglander
    (5 votes)
60 votes total Vote Now