Training camps in the Western Hockey League (WHL) finally opened this week. Capitals’ prospect Ryan Hofer and the Everett Silvertips got things started on Monday, while Capitals prospect Alexander Suzdalev and the Regina Pats opened training camp on Wednesday.
The Capitals selected Suzdalev in the third-round (70th overall) of the 2022 NHL Draft. They acquired the pick as part of the trade that sent goaltender Vitek Vanecek to the New Jersey Devils on second day of the draft. The Capitals subsequently signed Suzdalev to an entry-level deal on July 15.
The Pats selected Suzdalev, 18, in the second round of the CHL’s 2021 import draft. Last season, he played for HV71 in Sweden’s junior ranks, registering 15 goals and a team-high 51 points in 45 games. He was 10th in the league in scoring.
Connor Bedard, the 17-year-old sensation and projected top draft pick in the 2023 Entry Draft is excited about the new addition of his former teammate, Suzdalev, who he played with for a short time in Sweden during the 2020-21 season.
“I’m pumped. For the last year, I was texting him here and there trying to convince him to come,” Bedard told the Regina Pats website. “He was really pumped when he signed, which is a good sign. I played with him in Sweden (HV71 J18 and J20) and we were pretty close. He’s such a good guy and a really good player. I can’t wait to see him in Regina. It’s a huge pickup for us.”
Suzdalev is also excited to be reunited with Bedard, who last season scored 100 points in 61 games and scored a total of 128 points in 77 games despite being several years younger than the oldest players in the league.
“It is a very good opportunity for me, to play in the Western Hockey League. It’s something I couldn’t say no to,” said Suzdalev. “We know each other quite well. When this opportunity came I thought it was a very good one.”
The Regina Pats kickoff their regular season on September 23 when they host the Moose Jaw Warriors.
By Jon Sorensen