Podkolzin, 21, is enduring a bit of a classic sophomore slump. The 10th overall selection in 2019 has just three assists through 16 games, although he has been limited to playing just 12:34 per game. It’s his first demotion to the minors this season. It would be his first regular-season AHL contest if he suits up with Abbotsford. He had two points in two playoff games last season.
Similarly, it’s Rathbone’s first demotion of the season. He’s been a healthy scratch for most of the season, playing in six out of 22 games. He’s registered an assist and a -3 rating. The 23-year-old returns to Abbotsford, where he had a spectacular 40 points in 39 games last season.
For Vancouver, it could be a sign that Jack Studnicka is getting ready to come off injured reserve. He’s been out with a lower-body injury since November 15.