The Anaheim Ducks have two first-round draft picks in the 2019 Draft this year, and we can only hope they spend both wisely. Could they strike gold late in the first with Ryan Suzuki?
The Anaheim Ducks hold two picks in the first round of the upcoming 2019 NHL entry draft, we’ve discussed the potential selections with the 9th overall pick ad-nauseam so let’s discuss some potential picks with the latter of the Ducks first round picks.
We recently discussed a defenseman who could be a dark horse pick with the Anaheim Ducks second, first-round draft selection, now let’s take a look at a forward. The Ducks are in a position where they could use one of just about everything, minus a goaltender. It would be the shock of a lifetime if the Ducks took a goaltender in the first round given the All-Star caliber play of one John Gibson. So, it could come down to who the best player available is for them to take.
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Ryan Suzuki- Right Wing- From London, Ontario- Current Team: Barrie Colts (OHL)
Ryan Suzuki is a winger currently playing for the Barrie Colts of the OHL, standing 6’0 and roughly 180lbs. Suzuki isn’t the biggest guy around, and he doesn’t play a hugely physical game, mostly taking the Johnny Gaudreau strategy of avoiding contact at all costs. Ryan Suzuki also isn’t the fastest skater in the world (Although he is a bit faster than his brother Nick Suzuki taken in the first round of the 2017 draft by the Vegas Golden Knights.)
While not a physical force, Suzuki more than makes up for it with his hockey IQ which is praised by just about anyone who has seen him play. He was even called one of the smarter players in recent years by some analysts. Suzuki is a natural playmaker, making the hardest of passes look easy, while also playing a flashy and exciting style of hockey.
The young forward possesses all of the tools to be a Top 6 player in the NHL and his playmaking ability and vision could be the key to him making a big impact on whichever team he ends up on. Suzuki also plays a fairly responsible defensive game with a pretty aggressive stick that causes opponents to turn the puck over quite frequently. He could be a key component to a team’s penalty kill once he develops a bit as well.
Suzuki likely won’t ever be mistaken for a scorer, as his puck handling and passing are his bread and butter, but he does have a sneakily good wrist shot that could pose some problems for goaltenders who are worried about letting him make a pass through traffic. It is likely he will need a year or two of seasoning before being NHL ready, but spending time in camp with some of the Ducks more seasoned veterans and young leaders alike could expedite the process a bit.
Comparable: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
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