Montreal head coach Claude Julien said he will use Suzuki on the power play during exhibition games, Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette reports. Fixing the league's 30th-ranked power play (13.2 percent) from last season is item number one on the coach's agenda during training camp, and Julien thinks the talented Suzuki might help. Julien talked about his plans Monday prior to the Canadiens' annual golf tournament, indicating each of the two power-play units will include four forwards. "There's no doubt if he's playing in preseason games he's going to be on the power play," Julien said. "Just watching the two games he played (this weekend), his vision and he's such a cerebral player that you cannot not put him on the power play and give him a look. So there's no doubt he'll get those opportunities. That's one of his strengths." Suzuki posted 34-60-94 totals in 59 regular-season games last season in the OHL with 11 of his goals and 18 assists coming on the power play. It's not a given the 20-year-old Suzuki will make the Canadiens' opening-night roster, but his chances greatly improve if he shows he belongs on an NHL power play during preseason games.
Suzuki and Ryan Poehling will play on the same line at this weekend's prospects tournament in Belleville, Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette reports. Suzuki and Poehling are Montreal's top-two prospects and both are centers, so Suzuki will shift to wing. That's the way Laval Rocket head coach Joel Bouchard, who is coaching the prospects, wants it. He believes good minor-league hockey players should be exposed to different positions. "A lot of times, centers in minor hockey are the good hockey players," Bouchard said Friday. "But if I have a tip to give to parents or coaches in minor hockey: play them everywhere." Suzuki is looking to crack the NHL lineup out of camp as a 20-year-old, but he may have to do so as a wing. The Habs are well stocked at center and don't want Suzuki playing on the fourth line.
Suzuki picked up the game-winning goal in Guelph's 3-2 victory over Saginaw in Game 7 OHL playoff action Monday. The Storm will face Ottawa for the OHL Championship beginning Thursday. Suzuki's 31 playoff points are nine more than the next closest competitor and he has lead Guelph to back-to-back Game 7 postseason victories. Originally a first-round selection of Vegas (13th overall) in 2017 and dealt to Habs in the Max Pacioretty deal, Suzuki is ready for NHL duty. Expect him to crack the Montreal roster out of training camp this coming fall.
Suzuki tallied a goal and two assists to help Guelph to a 6-3 win over London in Game 7 OHL playoff action Tuesday. After dropping the first three games of the series, Suzuki and the Storm came roaring back to win the final four, and the play of the Montreal prospect was a major reason why. Suzuki now has 10 goals and 20 points in his first 11 postseason contests. This comes on the heels of a regular season in which he posted 94 points in 57 games. Dealing Max Pacioretty to Vegas was a difficult move for the Habs to make, but knowing they got a prospect of Suzuki's caliber in return helps soften the blow a bit. Suzuki seems likely to begin the 2019-20 season in Montreal.
Suzuki scored twice and added four assists in OHL Guelph's 8-4 win over Kitchener on Sunday. With 20 points in his last six games, Suzuki is arguably the OHL's hottest player. He is averaging nearly two points per game (41 points in 23 games) since his move from Owen Sound to Guelph in early January and Suzuki has firmly established himself as one of the top offensive prospects in the game. Montreal will be forced to give him a long look in training camp this coming fall.
Last 7 Games
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