The Regina Pats are one of the more in-focus junior teams in the hockey world this season as 17-year-old phenom and consensus 2023 first-overall draft pick Connor Bedard is lighting up the league in historic fashion. But so is Washington Capitals 2022 third-round draft pick Alexander Suzdalev.
Suzdalev, skating the majority of this season without Bedard on the Pats’ second line, has impressed majorly in his own right. When the Russian-born, Swedish-raised winger tallied against the Edmonton Oil Kings on Sunday, it was his 10th goal in his last 13 games.
Bedard ➡️ Suzdalev ➡️ Back of the Net!
— Regina Pats (@WHLPats) December 5, 2022
In his rookie season in the WHL, Suzdalev has recorded 35 points (16g, 19a) in 26 games. He ranks third on the Pats in scoring behind Bedard (64) and Tanner Howe (40). The latter there gets to ride shotgun to Bedard on the Pats’ first line.
“He’s such a skilled player,” Bedard said of Suzdalev in September. “I got to play with him a bit in Sweden a couple years back. He’s so skilled – he’s definitely a special player.”
The 18-year-old playmaker has also continued to delve deep into the bag of tricks he showed off during Caps Rookie Camp. He once scored a Michigan in Sweden and seems determined to do that again over here in North America.
Folks, Suzzy tried it again 👀
So, so close!
One of these days, it's gonna work! pic.twitter.com/RcvX5TucWT
— Regina Pats (@WHLPats) November 26, 2022
“I’m an offensive skilled player that likes to be creative and make scoring chances,” he told Mike Vogel at Development Camp. “Hockey is such a tight game, small areas, but I like to be creative.”
Suzdalev is eligible to play for Sweden at this year’s World Junior Championship. The Athletic’s hockey prospect guru Corey Pronman says that he is on the bubble of that roster.
Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan was asked to comment on Suzdalev as well as his potential future Caps teammates and fellow 2022 draftees Ivan Miroshnichenko and Ryan Chesley on Saturday.
“All three, it’s pretty positive on all three of them,” MacLellan said. “They’re all doing well. We’re all excited about them. We won’t see them for a couple years. A couple good picks by our staff and excited to see them to continue to grow.”
Screenshot via @WHLPats/Twitter
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