The NHL draft is familiar territory for Ryan Suzuki as just two years ago he watched his brother Nick get selected in the opening round. Turn the calendar to 2019 and Ryan is a projected early pick thanks in part to his performance with the Barrie Colts this season in which he notched 25 goals and 75 points in 65 appearances. The first-overall pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, Suzuki had an impressive debut season with the Colts in 2017-18 as he put up 44 points in 64 games and was named to the OHL Second All-Rookie Team. On the international stage, the budding centre joined Team Canada at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup last summer where he notched eight points in five games en route to a gold medal win. The London, Ont., native was also a part of the Canadian squad at the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship. Suzuki is the 18th-ranked North American skater in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Rankings.
Suzuki describes himself as a pass-first centre and likens his playing style to Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals. Suzuki’s offseason goal is to improve his physical strength in order to help him win more puck battles.
“Thinks the game at an elite level and is a great playmaker with underrated shooting skills,” writes Sportsnet’s Sam Cosentino. “Ridiculously skilled, extremely high hockey IQ, and sees the ice well.”