The Regina Pats have been the talk of the hockey world a lot this season as 17-year-old phenom Connor Bedard looks set to become to next number one overall NHL draft selection and a future superstar. Somewhat lost in the shuffle of that conversation is the play of one of his teammates with the Pats, Capitals prospect Alexander Suzdalev.
Suzdalev made sure his talents were on full display Saturday night as the 2022 third-round draft selection dazzled the crowd with a between-the-legs strike to tie Regina’s game against the Portland Winterhawks. The highlight reel tally was the crafty Swede’s 23rd marker of the season which is second only to Bedard on the team.
The absurd goal came with 12:37 left in the second period and knotted the game at two goals apiece. On the play, Suzdalev picks up a loose puck in front of Portland’s net after a faceoff, drags the puck between his legs, and then fires it home under the outstretched right pad of the netminder.
🚨 SUZY GOES BETWEEN THE LEGS 🚨
— Regina Pats (@WHLPats) January 15, 2023
In his rookie season in the WHL, Suzdalev has recorded 53 points (23g, 30a) in 40 games. He ranks second on the Pats in total scoring behind just Bedard (77). The Russian-born, Swedish-raised winger has played the majority of the season away from Bedard on the team’s second line.
Suzdalev’s rise away from Bedard was recently highlighted by the fact that he was named the WHL’s Rookie Of the Month for December after tallying 17 points in ten games. Bedard played in just two December games for the Pats as he was away for most of the month with Team Canada for World Junior duties.
The 18-year-old forward is not one scared to get fancy. He talked about that at Capitals Development Camp and further showcased his skill at Rookie Camp, showing off some of his favorite tricks out on the ice at MedStar Capitals IcePlex.
“I’m an offensive skilled player that likes to be creative and make scoring chances,” he told Mike Vogel. “Hockey is such a tight game, small areas, but I like to be creative.”
A between-the-legs goal definitely qualifies as creative.
Screenshot via @reginapatshockey/Instagram
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