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2017 NHL Draft Profile: Nick Suzuki is undersized and underrated

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An intriguing blend of youth, skill, and versatility.

Terry Wilson / OHL Images

Nick Suzuki may look small, but he certainly doesn’t play that way. One of the youngest players in this year’s NHL draft, Suzuki offers a blend of smarts, speed, and skill that makes him one of the most intriguing offensive players in this year’s draft.

Suzuki was one of the OHL’s best players this past season as a 17-year-old. He scored the fourth-most goals (45) and fifth-most points (96), and led the Owen Sound Attack as an alternate captain to their best regular season and postseason finish since 2012-13. He also played in every situation this season, and was a fixture on Owen Sound’s top power play and penalty kill units.

Nick Suzuki 2017 NHL Draft profile | SB Nation NHL Draft Match

Nick Suzuki of the OHL's Owen Sound Attack is an impressive goal scorer and likely first round NHL Draft choice.

Posted by SB Nation NHL on Friday, June 9, 2017

The forward is undeterred by his size, and is difficult to knock off of the puck. Scouts have praised his work ethic, as Suzuki is not afraid to go into the dirty areas in the corner or around the net, and is also a reliable back-checker.

His age also represents tremendous scoring upside. He’s the 15th-youngest player listed in NHL Central Scouting’s rankings of North American players, and scored at least 15 more points than any other 17-year-old in the OHL this season.

San Jose struggled to score goals last season, and with its veteran core continuing to age, they’ll need to find players with high offensive upside. General manager Doug Wilson and head coach Peter DeBoer value players that play responsibly, though, which makes Suzuki a near-perfect fit in the Sharks system.

Whether or not he will be available when San Jose selects the 19th overall pick remains to be seen. Suzuki’s the 11th-best prospect in the draft according to ISS Hockey, but the 18th and 19th-best in the eyes of hockeyprospect.com and Future Considerations, respectively. Plus, San Jose probably doesn’t have the picks necessary to move up in the draft, unless it was part of a bigger deal.

If Suzuki is available, San Jose should not hesitate to select him. He has the two-way ability and versatility that management loves, and the offensive skill that could make him a future fixture as a top six forward.

The Basics

Name: Nicholas Suzuki

Position: Center/Right Wing

Nationality: Canada

Shoots: Right

DOB: August 10, 1999

Height: 5’11”

Weight (lbs): 183

Hometown: London, ON

2016-17: Owen Sound Attack (OHL)

2015-16: Owen Sound Attack

2014-15: London Jr. Knights Minor Midget AAA (AHMMPL)

Rankings

ISS Hockey: 11

McKeen’s Hockey: 16

Hockeyprospect.com: 18

Future Considerations: 19

NHL Central Scouting: 10 (North America)

Strengths

  • Work ethic
  • Excellent skater
  • High hockey IQ

Areas of improvement

  • Add muscle mass

Highlight Reel