In Nick Suzuki, an NHL team will be getting a crafty offensive centreman who is as cerebral as he is skilled. Highly regarded for his skating ability, Suzuki was the fifth leading scorer in the entire OHL, finishing his season with 45 goals and 96 points. A modern day centreman at 5’11”, he has shot up draft boards everywhere as of late and is a prime candidate to be selected early in the first round. Suzuki is a hard-nosed player and has no issue playing in the dirtier areas of the ice, including that of his defensive zone. He is considered one of the best two-way centre’s in this year’s draft.
Scouting Report via Jeff Marek:
A high hockey IQ and very little panic in his game. Versatile player: They use him on both the first unit PP and PK in Owen Sound.
Nick is the nephew of Canadian environmentalist and The Nature of Things host David Suzuki.
Why a fit with the Winnipeg Jets:
Much like Cody Glass before him, Nick Suzuki’s skill set translates to that of a top six forward in the NHL. However, as the game has modernized from two scoring lines, a shut down line, and a defensive/grinder line, Suzuki could ably play as a third line centre as he grows into a bigger role at the next level. His 45 goals are the second most of any draft eligible OHLer; in fact, they are the second most in any draft eligible prospect, regardless of league. His primary point scoring rate of 1.17 per game is superb as compared to his classmates. Only Kailer Yamamoto can claim to have as many primary points per game of any CHL prospect aged 17-18, which is a very impressive claim. Suzuki has many of the tools coveted to be an exceptional play-maker in the NHL.
Cons to the selection:
As stated in the synopsis, Suzuki’s size is that of the modern day centre, which is a nice way to say he’s on the smaller side of the ledger. Moreover, he is the seventh ranked North American centre and, should there be a run on the position early in the draft (as anticipated), Winnipeg might be in the position of taking one of the top defencemen in lieu of Suzuki. We are assuredly being fickle in our critique of the Owen Sound dynamo as he does check off many of the boxes required in a top prospect.
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