Washington Capitals forward prospect Alexander Suzdalev made his return to the Regina Pats on Tuesday. Suzdalev’s preseason training and start of the WHL season was interrupted so that he could participate in Capitals rookie camp and the first few days of the Capitals main training camp. He also played in the preseason opener against Buffalo on Sunday.
Suzdalev made his regular season debut with the Pats Thursday night against the Oil Kings in Edmonton. While Suzdalev and phenom Connor Bedard are expected to play on the top line a lot this season, and the combo worked well in Pats training camp and preseason games prior to Suzdalev’s departure to Washington, the duo began last night’s game on separate lines.
Suzdalev and Bedard did play on the top power play unit for the entire game and were eventually reunited on a line following a shakeup of the top lines in the third period of a 3-3 game.
Regulation ended in a 3-3 tie, but the duo would eventually hookup to “stick a fork in it” in overtime.
#ALLCAPS Alexander Suzdalev to Connor Bedard for the overtime winner. pic.twitter.com/IZUY66DCST
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) September 30, 2022
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.”
The Washington 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 announced on July 15, the last day of the team’s development camp, that they had signed Suzdalev to a three-year deal.
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They will be connecting all season. It’s good to get Suzdalev off the same line as Bedard on occasion.