2019 NHL draft prospect profile: Centre Ryan Suzuki

ST CATHARINES, ON - OCTOBER 11: Ryan Suzuki #61 of the Barrie Colts skates during an OHL game against the Niagara IceDogs at Meridian Centre on October 11, 2018 in St Catharines, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
ST CATHARINES, ON - OCTOBER 11: Ryan Suzuki #61 of the Barrie Colts skates during an OHL game against the Niagara IceDogs at Meridian Centre on October 11, 2018 in St Catharines, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The 2019 NHL Draft is fast approaching and we continue our draft prospect profiles here at The Canuck Way. Here is a look at centre Ryan Suzuki.

The name Suzuki might sound familiar. Ryan Suzuki is the younger brother of prospect Nick Suzuki, who was drafted by the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017.

The elder Suzuki was later traded to the Montreal Canadiens as part of the Tomas Tatar and Max Pacioretty blockbuster deal before the start of the 2018-19 season. The younger Suzuki plays for the Barrie Colts of the OHL,.

Ryan has is one of the smartest players of this year’s draft class. Here is a look at our draft profile of Suzuki, a potential target for the Canucks with the No. 10 pick.

The rundown

*Stats provided by EliteProspects.com

Height: 6’0″ /184 cm

Weight:181 lbs / 82 kg

Date of Birth: May 28, 2001

Position: Center

Team and League: Barrie Colts OHL

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Ranked #21 by ISS HOCKEY
Ranked #22 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #18 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #12 by TSN’s Bob McKenzie

Scouting reports

Steve Kourianos of TheDraftAnalyst.Com

"A dynamic offensive weapon with eyes in the back of his head and a top performer for both Barrie and Team Canada, Suzuki is the OHL’s top prospect for the 2019 NHL Draft. Blessed with blinding speed and acute hockey sense, the younger brother of 2017 first rounder Nick Suzuki is a bit more flashier and excitable with the puck, especially in open ice. He’s more of a playmaker than a shooter, but Ryan owns an excellent wrist shot and can score off his backhand. Still, he seems more comfortable and confident dictating play with the puck on his stick and treating every teammate as a scoring-chance possibility. Suzuki a season ago was one of the OHL’s top rookies, but he enters his draft year as one of the circuit’s best overall players and a candidate to challenge for the scoring crown.Suzuki has excellent vision and will connect with a linemate from just about anywhere, regardless of how dense the network of skates, bodies and sticks are clogging a passing lane. He has a soft touch and feathers passes with regularity, but he also can whip the puck around with both accuracy and authority. Although Suzuki is an excellent stickhandler with elusiveness and agility to avoid contact, the puck doesn’t spend a lot of time on his stick at even strength. He’s usually on the periphery during puck battles and the corners, and you will rarely see him engage in physical play. Nonetheless, Suzuki is an effective penalty killer and aggressive forechecker whose positioning, quick stick and awareness forces turnovers in the opposing end. He is capable of turning seemingly harmless plays into quality scoring chances."

Cam Robinson of DobberProspects.Com

"Suzuki is a creative and silky distributor. He boasts a level of vision and soft touch that few possess in this class. Very poised and patient with the puck. More speed than brother, Nick."

My thoughts

Suzuki has the makings of a top six forward in the NHL.  It will be interesting to see where he goes in the draft because some people have him ranked as early as 12 while others have him as late as the mid 20s.

I wouldn’t mind the Vancouver Canucks drafting Ryan Suzuki but they would have to trade down to get him.

Suzuki is an incredible playmaker with excellent vision and hockey IQ. He is very creative with the puck and he sees things in his head before they actually happen.  Suzuki also makes clear and crisp passes.  He can take passes cleanly as well and with the puck he uses his creative ability to make a play happen.

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Though his brother Nick is more of a shooter, Ryan’s shot isn’t too bad itself. Defensively, he is good on the back check but needs a little work on his defensive zone coverage.