In July, during the 2022 NHL Draft, the Washington Capitals selected Swedish winger Alexander Suzdalev with one of their third-round picks (70th overall). Suzdalev was the 26th-ranked European skater by NHL Central Scouting.
One major thing that makes the Russian-born, Swedish-raised forward so exciting is his tantalizing offensive ability. To put it simply, the kid has hands for days.
In a video put out by the Caps, Suzdalev shows off three of his favorite trick shots. The first being The Michigan which he has actually pulled off during a live game before.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) September 19, 2022
“So, usually I just go behind the net and if I found some space in the other corner I just try to pick it up fast and then go in the net,” the youngster said casually. If only it was that easy.
confirmed: suzy's got moves 👀 pic.twitter.com/oM8ftYRMdT
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) July 8, 2022
The second move he shows off is a fake shot to backhand to fake between the legs shot back to backhand shootout move. Normal Suzdalev things. He also executed this move live in a Regina Pats intrasquad scrimmage (1:10 of the following video).
Catch the highlights from this morning's Rookie Game, where Brayden Barnett led the way with a hat-trick & Alexander Suzdalev potted a pair of goals, including a nifty one on a penalty shot👇#ItsGoTime | #PatsTrainingCamp pic.twitter.com/MCCCJFG41F
— Regina Pats (@WHLPats) September 5, 2022
His performance in Regina impressed all of his new WHL teammates which included consensus 2023 number one overall selection Connor Bedard.
“He’s such a skilled player,” Bedard said in early September. “I got to play with him a bit in Sweden a couple years back. In these couple intrasquad games so far, it’s been so fun to play with him. He’s so skilled and it seems like he can find me all the time. I’m really looking forward to building that chemistry and he’s definitely a special player.”
Suzdalev signed with the Pats to play hockey in North America after spending three seasons in the HV71 junior program pulling off moves like this third trick which is a puck juggling exhibition that would probably be illegal during a real game. However, there is video of him doing something similar.
Here he is doing a variant of the pop-pass over the net assist that Anaheim Ducks forward Trevor Zegras made popular last season.
— SwehockeyGIFs (@swehockeygifs) October 10, 2021
The 18-year-old forward participated in July’s Development Camp, mid-September’s Rookie Camp, and is now an attendee at Capitals main Training Camp.
“I’m an offensive skilled player that likes to be creative and make scoring chances,” he told Mike Vogel at that Development Camp. “Hockey is such a tight game, small areas, but I like to be creative.”
Suzdalev, a fan of Alexander Semin and Alex Ovechkin when he was growing up, will now look to follow in their footsteps with the Caps. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the organization in July.
The talented youngster is listed on the roster for Sunday’s preseason game against the Sabres.
Screenshot via @Capitals/Twitter
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