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From Fort Myers To Siberia: Eels All-Time Top Scorer Podrezov Finds Success In Russia’s VHL

By Joshua Boyd / USPHL.com, 11/10/21, 4:00PM EST

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The United States Premier Hockey League and the Florida Eels are excited to congratulate former player Demid Podrezov, who is currently playing for Omsk Krylia in the VHL, roughly translating from the Cyrillic as Supreme Hockey League. The VHL is roughly the equivalent of the American Hockey League, as it is the main feeder league for the top Russian pro league, the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League). 

Currently, Podrezov has played in 18 games for Omsk Krylia and has posted two goals and six assists for eight points to start his professional career. 

Podrezov arrived in Fort Myers, Florida, in 2018, and he was an immediate impact player for the Florida Eels with 25 goals and 25 assists for 50 points in 43 games. His points per game average improved even in his second season, moving from 1.16 to 1.53, as he produced 46 points in 30 games. And then when you thought he couldn’t be any more productive, he pushed his way to a 71-point season in 41 games, for an average of 1.71 points per game. 

All told, he finished his final regular season with a career total of 167 points, currently good enough for eighth all-time in the USPHL Premier. His 101 assists are also seventh in Premier history. 

“He was one of the most dominant players to put on an Eels jersey,” said Eels General Manager Frank Scarpaci. “He was coined ‘Superman’ here by me because he often would literally pick up his team and carry the responsibility on his shoulders to win.”

Podrezov’s impact on Scarpaci went far beyond the ice, however. 

“Anyone who knows him knows he will ripen and mature into a major impactful player wherever he is. This kid is a winner and has an insatiable appetite to score. It is in his DNA, he truly loves the game, he wears it in his smile,” said Scarpaci. “We are so proud of him. What a great young man with incredible character. After all, he was and is a Florida Eel.” 

In terms of his hockey DNA, Deemed is the son of Vadim Podrezov, who played pro hockey in Russia and in the U.S. as well. Vadim has been a European scout for the Florida Panthers since 2000, the same year Demid was born in Muskegon, Mich., while his father was playing his second and final season with the Muskegon Fury before retiring from his playing career. 

“His role model and mentor was his dad Vadim,” added Scarpaci. 

In fact, Vadim’s junior career began in 1983 in the same town, Omsk, where Demid is currently playing. Omsk is in southeastern Siberia and is the region’s oil refining and petrochemical center with a population of over 1 million residents. 

Podrezov originally committed to attend and play for an NCAA Division III team, but elected instead to turn pro in his adopted home country, where he shares dual citizenship between Russia and the U.S. 

“He had a plethora of NCAA options, but Demid said he had to follow his heart. He felt really strongly about his plans to pursue his KHL goal, and playing in the prestigious Russian Supreme Hockey League [VHL] was his pathway,” added Scarpaci. “He would never take himself out of the lineup. He was a winner and played with a high compete level.”

The USPHL joins the Florida Eels in congratulating Demid Podrezov on starting his pro hockey career in Russia.