Golden Knights Top Prospect Rankings: #2 Nick Suzuki

Golden Knights Top Prospect Rankings: #2 Nick Suzuki

Name: Nicholas Suzuki aka “Nick Suzuki”

Position: C

Age: 18

Place of Birth: London, Ontario, Canada

Height: 5’11’’/ 180cm

Weight: 183lbs/ 83kg

Shoots: R

Drafted: 2017 Round 1, 13th Overall

Last Season:

Owen Sound Attack – 64 GP, 42 Goals, 58 Assists, 100 Points +/- = +30

Summary:

One of the most successful junior players of recent memory…

ALLIANCE Hockey Player of the year 14/15 (Most Goals and Most Points)

OHL 1st All-Rookie Team 2015/16 (20 Goals in Rookie Season)

2015/16 WHC U17 Gold Medalist with Team Canada

Central Scouting Midterm Rankings 2017: 2rd/3rd Round Pick

Wait, what?

 

If you find that ranking confusing, you wouldn’t be alone. For a guy that has had tremendous success his entire life, Suzuki being projected to go 2nd or even 3rd round just sounded ridiculous. The only possible reason that we can come up with is that some scouts doubt his ability to be a top-6 center in the NHL. Apparently Suzuki agrees with our assessment of his skill, because in the span of a year, he clawed his way into being taken by McPhee at Number 13.

In Today’s NHL, having elite centers is crucial to a teams success. The Pittsburgh Penguins’ back-to-back Stanley cups are testament to that idea. A one-two punch at center is essential for any cup contenders to turn become a champion. McPhee built his teams in Washington by drafting guys like Kuznetsov and Backstrom. If you’re asking if Suzuki will form part of a similarly talented combo, the answer: probably.

If Suzuki translates to the NHL, he could be a star.

Returning to the Owen Sound Attack as an Alternate Captain, the London native tore up the OHL with an 100 point 2017-18 season, racking up 42 Goals and 58 Assists. For reference, no other Owen Sound player could notch 70 points last season. You don’t need to take our word for it this time, Nic Hague who also played in the OHL last season has faced Suzuki numerous times and is quoted as saying:

“I played against Suzuki all year, and I don’t think there’s too many guys who are better with the puck than he is.”

If the OHL defenseman of the year thinks he’s good, that pretty much seals it for us.  We value  Speed, Hockey IQ and good work ethic in prospects. Nick Suzuki has all of those in spades.

Nick is a smart offensive center that thinks the game at a fast pace and makes very good decisions on a consistent basis. He plays a thick, sturdy game and is hard to knock off the puck, especially when he has his feet moving. He’s an excellent skater that knows his own game well. 

Suzuki has a motor that won’t quit, is a reliable back checker, and plays a full 200 foot game. He does everything for the Owen Sound Attack and is looking more and more like a top 6 player every time he steps out onto the ice as he continues to grow with the Golden Knights.

Golden Knights Watch believes Suzuki is capable of being one of the better forwards in the league, even if it could be on the wing. Much like Zach Whitecloud, he really doesn’t have any major flaws in his game. If pressed we would say that his puck protection could use work and that he doesn’t always play with flash. While he has good hands and catches passes in stride rather well, sometimes he can lapse and give up turnovers. These aren’t fundamental defects in his game, just areas in which he can improve. He could stand to gain some more muscle, generally because he is not afraid to play physical and anything he can add there would make him better suited to that role.

The Golden Knights are extremely fortunate to have a player like Nick Suzuki in the pipeline. He exemplifies much of what the Golden Knights aspire to be, and continues to get better. Unfortunately, due to the CHL’s age limit rules, Suzuki will not be playing AHL hockey come next year. Forcing an extremely talented playing like Suzuki back to junior where he has little left to prove may be a waste but that’s McPhee’s likely call. Either way, Suzuki will soon by donning the grey and gold of the Knights. They say 13 is an unlucky number, but with McPhee selecting Suzuki there, we have to disagree.

 

Vegas Full Prospect Rankings:

#1 Cody Glass

#2 Nick Suzuki

#3 Erik Brannstrom

#4 Nic Hague

#5 Lucas Elvenes

#6 Maxim Zhukov

#7 Ben Jones

#8 Zach Whitecloud

#9 Jake Leschyshyn

#10 Jack Dugan

#11 Dylan Coghlan

#12 Jonas Rondbjerg

Game Calendar

September 2018
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