Vancouver Canucks pick Russian forward Vasili Podkolzin 10th overall in NHL draft
The Vancouver Canucks made their first pick of 2019 at the NHL draft on Friday, going with Russian forward Vasili Podkolzin for the 10th pick overall.
The 17-year-old right-winger 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, at six-foot-one and 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 during the first round of this year’s draft, which was held on the Canucks’ home turf at Rogers Arena.
Vancouver has made some of its recent first-round draft picks a key part of the club’s rebuilding process.
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Last year, the Canucks scooped up 19-year-old defenceman Quinn Hughes seventh overall, who tallied three assists between his debut in March and the end of the season.
Earlier Friday, Hughes’ younger brother Jack was selected first overall to join the New Jersey Devils.
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The 18-year-old centre put up a record 154 assists and 228 points over two seasons with the under-18 U.S. National Team Development Program.
The younger Hughes is the eighth American-born player to be drafted first overall and the first since Toronto took Auston Matthews in 2016.
He’s also just the second USNTDP player to be drafted No. 1 directly out of the program after the St. Louis Blues took defenceman Erik Johnson first overall in 2006.
Bowen Byram, a Vancouver Giants defenceman originally from Cranbrook, B.C., was picked fourth overall by the Colorado Avalanche.
The draft continues Saturday with 2 through 7, which will begin at 10 a.m.
— With files from the Canadian Press
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