Ryan Suzuki was the Carolina Hurricanes first round selection in the 2019 NHL Draft. What parts of his game could potentially have him as a breakout player in the future?
Ryan Suzuki will most likely spend the 2019-20 season on his junior team, the Barrie Colts. Suzuki was twelfth on the Carolina Hurricanes draft board, according to GM Don Waddell and apparently had a slide in the draft due to compete level. But Suzuki is an absolute steal at this spot and got a player that was at a position of need.
Suzuki is an outstanding playmaker as he can pass at an elite level. In two seasons with the Colts, he has totaled 80 assists. He also has the speed and ability to gain separation from defending players allowing himself to set up high quality chances for his team. The Hurricanes need a center with a playmaking type of game, something that they have lacked for quite some time now.
He is also an excellent puck handler. He doesn’t play a physical style, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue with him because of how well he can control the puck. He is able to maneuver his way around defenseman in order to need to get to the spot he needs to.
His vision on the ice is the key to all of this. His ability to see things allows him to create better opportunities for his team. For example, using his instinctive passing ability, he can see player cutting in and finding them for a chance at a goal. He can also stretch the ice to lead odd man rushes, either passing or skating it out.
His compete level came into question by many on draft night, which led to a little bit of a slide for him. However, he is a talented player and does seem to work hard on the ice. Coach Rod Brind’Amour always wants his players to give it their all and that won’t be a problem for Suzuki.
But how will all of this make him an eventual breakthrough candidate for the Carolina Hurricanes?
His teammates can be a huge help to his success and bonus, he has already been teammates with one member of the Hurricanes. That would be Andrei Svechnikov. Playmaking forwards always benefit from having players that can finish when they are passed the puck.
Whether it’s Svechnikov’s lethal shot, Sebastian Aho’s quick release, Dougie Hamilton’s slap shot, Suzuki will have opportunities to set these up for high quality chances. The Hurricanes are looking to improve on offense and Suzuki could be a key piece for the future.
Another thing that can allow him to breakthrough is if he is given a chance to play on a power play that hasn’t been so special. The Hurricanes power play could use a center like Suzuki when he is ready to play at the NHL level. Power plays benefit from quality passing and being able to see the ice to catch an opening. Also, speed can be a huge factor into getting yourself a lane on the power play.
His passing ability is what is most thought of when you mention Suzuki. But he does have an underrated ability of putting the puck in the net. In terms of goal scoring is he uses his speed to get himself open and that helps in terms of getting pucks on net.
The first round selection of Ryan Suzuki was the headline of a rather impressive draft by the Carolina Hurricanes front office. This pick may very well be a great one for the Hurricanes as Suzuki seemingly fell in their lap. It is easy to see Suzuki as a breakout player for the Hurricanes, but the question is when.
Question for CC Readers: What part of Ryan Suzuki’s game will help him the most in order to breakout?