2018-19 Team: Barrie Colts (#61)
Date of Birth: May 28, 2001
Place of Birth: London, Ontario
Ht: 6’0” Wt: 172 lbs.
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2019 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 10th (among North American Skaters)
- Future Considerations: 12th
- Dobber Prospects: 22nd
- Hockey Prospect: 23rd
- ISS: 19th
- McKeen’s: 21st
- Bob McKenzie: 12th
- Craig Button: 29th
He’s taller and slightly more shifty than his older brother, which should land Ryan Suzuki in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft. At six-feet, he’s agile and sees the ice like few others in the OHL.
Related: Our Free NHL Draft Guide
While he doesn’t play an overly physical game, he makes up for it with his skill on the offensive side of the puck. After scoring 44 points in 64 games during his rookie season for the Barrie Colts, he followed that up with 75 points in 65 games this season – his draft year.
He has soft hands and incredible vision and while he shouldn’t be considered a speedster by any means, Suzuki skates well and makes up for the difference in speed with his ability to get around defenders. He’s a playmaker by trade, but that doesn’t take away from what he can do when he shoots the puck as well.
He hasn’t reached his ceiling yet, but he’s not far off. With his pass-first mentality, a little more work could make him one more exciting playmakers to debut in the NHL in the coming years. He’ll likely have another year in the OHL before he even gets a sniff of the NHL, but when he does, watch out for him on the offensive side of the puck.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Ryan Suzuki – NHL Draft Projection
After his brother went 13th overall in 2017 to the Vegas Golden Knights, the younger Suzuki will look to follow in his footsteps as he awaits his name in June’s NHL Draft. Slotted in all over the first round by insiders, Suzuki will likely go somewhere in the middle of the first round – between 13th and 18th overall – especially with the skill set he offers to any team willing to add him to their prospect list.
“Blessed with blinding speed and acute hockey sense, the younger brother of 2017 first-rounder Nick Suzuki is a bit 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.” – Steve Kournianos/The Draft Analyst
“Ryan’s playmaking abilities border on elite. He sees the ice extremely well, and sees things developing before they actually do. And he can deliver a tape-to-tape pass or lead a teammate with a pass. The fact that 29 of his assists are primary assists speaks to the fact that he can deliver the disc for a scoring threat. As much as Ryan is an offensive threat on the power play, he has shown that he can be a threat when down a man as well, although the numbers don’t reflect that. He thinks the game so well and has excellent anticipation that he can steal the puck defending and go on the attack in a flash. Defensively he understands the game and works hard at it. You won’t find many coming back on the back check harder than he does.” – Dominic Tiano/OHL Writers
“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.” – Cam Robinson/Dobber Prospects
- Hockey IQ
- Skating ability
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Defensive zone coverage
Top six forward? It certainly isn’t out of the question for the younger Suzuki brother who has the vision and offensive prowess to step into that type of role at the NHL level. While some consider his skill among the elite in junior hockey, it’ll be up to him to adapt when he does get the call to the show if he wants to land a top-six or even top-line role.
Risk – 2/5 | Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 7.5/10 | Defence – 7/10
Suzuki’s success dates back to his time with the London Jr. Knights of the Alliance Hockey League during his minor midget year in 2016-17. He finished the year with 59 points in 32 games and helped the Knights to an Alliance championship as well as finishing the year with the most assists (40), most points (59) and won the Player of the Year award. From there, he was named to the OHL’s Second All-Rookie Team in 2017-18 and won a silver medal with Canada at the U17 World Hockey Championship. To top it all off, Suzuki won a gold medal at the 2018-19 Hlinka Memorial tournament and was a champion at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. With that, you can be sure there’s more to come.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.