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Top 25 Under 25: #17 C.J. Suess

After a solid NCAA career, the artist formerly known as Franklin transitions to the pro game this year.

NHL: Preseason-Winnipeg Jets at Calgary Flames
Winnipeg Jets left wing C.J. Suess (73) celebrates his third period goal against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Jets won 5-4.
Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Top 25 Under 25 -
#17 - C.J. Suess
5’11” 190 lbs - Left Wing/Centre - Shoots Left
AHL 2017-2018: 6 GP - 1G - 1A - 2PTS - 2PIM
NCAA 2017-2018 Season: 40 GP - 22G - 21A - 43PTS - 53PIM
NCAA Career Stats: 157 GP - 57G - 70A - 127PTS - 155PIM

After four years of playing at Minnesota State University, Mankato, C.J. Suess played six AHL regular season games and a trio of playoff games for the Manitoba Moose last year after finishing up his college eligibility.

Suess had 127 points in 157 NCAA games, and was captain of his team the last two seasons. During his time in Minnesota, he transitioned from left wing to centre, and from his birth name of Franklin to his mother’s maiden name of Suess. In his final year, Suess was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.

Jets head coach Paul Maurice had nothing but praise for Suess when asked.

“Physically, he’s very strong, so he doesn’t have a problem getting up and down the ice,” said Maurice. “He can keep his level high throughout his shifts and he can also learn while he’s playing. He’s not gasping (for air) out there. He’s smart.”

“He’s got a real simple game that fits our game right now and he’s strong enough to drive. He’s had a really good camp.”

Suess will battle it out with guys like Seth Griffith and Michael Spacek for minute as a top-6 centre with the Moose, though sliding over to the wing remains an option.

The Moose season starts Friday against Iowa.