Capitals Prospect Alexander Suzdalev Records First Career WHL Hat Trick

Photo: Regina Pats

Washington Capitals prospect Alexander Suzdalev continues to have an outstanding rookie campaign in the Western Hockey League (WHL), his first season in North America. Suzdalev, who has pulled off numerous highlight reels goals so far this season, including The Michigan and a between-the-legs goal, recorded his first career WHL hat trick on Saturday night against the Brandon Wheat Kings in Regina.

Suzdalev opened the scoring for the night with the first goal of the game, just 5:18 into the contest. He also opened the scoring on Friday night.

Suzdalev’s second goal of the game came at 16:37 of the second period. It was a breakaway tally that he finished five-hole. Suzdalev also added an assist in the middle frame.

Suzdalev completed the hat trick midway through the third period. His shot was first not confirmed a goal, but as play continued, officials reviewed the play and confirmed his shot indeed hit the back bar, the water bottle and then went out.

Suzdalev, 18, now has 34 goals and 41 assists for 75 points in 54 games played (1.39 points per game) so far this season. He has 28 points (14G-14A) in his last 17 games. Suzdalev has shot the puck 133 times for a whopping 25.5% shooting percentage.

Suzdalev was chosen in the third round, 70th overall, by the Capitals in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. It just so happens to be the team he grew up rooting for. He met with the media following the game.

“I was a huge Caps fan,” Suzdalev said. “I was loving Ovi [Alexander Ovechkin] and I was from a place in Siberia where Alexander Semin was from so that was my favourite player when I was little. … Really happy to be drafted by them. It couldn’t be any better almost.”

He’s been in North America and playing hockey on North American-sized rinks for less than a year, but so far, by most accounts, things are going really well for Suzdalev. Suzdalev made the jump across the pond from Sweden last summer, signing with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League (WHL). What has Suzdalev enjoyed about playing for the Pats so far this season?

“Everything so far,” Suzdalev told Robin Wark. “I fit in pretty good in the group and everyone is really nice. I love the city. The fans were really good the last couple games here and it was sure fun to play. Of course, when you have as good a player on your team as Connor Bedard [who is projected to be the first pick in the 2023 National Hockey League Draft], it sure makes it a lot more fun to play with him and go at it every practice.”

Suzdalev attended the Capitals’ development camp in July and Capitals rookie and training camps in September. “It didn’t feel real almost at the time,” he said. “In your first rookie camp, you learn a lot – taking from the good players.

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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13 Responses to Capitals Prospect Alexander Suzdalev Records First Career WHL Hat Trick

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    Suz Your Daddy!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Where next for Suz?

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I think he’s gleaned all he can in the CHL. He reminds me on Connor McMichael in his last year in CHL. He was done learning at that level. I’d say Europe (SHL?) or even the AHL (he’s not bound by 20-year old rule because he is a European player)

      • novafyre says:

        Jon, what would be your preference? I always lean towards the AHL because of English language and NA rink size.

        • GRin430 says:

          Any indication he’s willing to play in the neutral or d zones? That’s really the big hurdle most high-scoring kids in the CHL need to clear. And of course playing against adults instead of 16-year-olds. He clearly has the basic tools, but the next step — hopefully to the AHL at least — is a huge one.

          • Jon Sorensen says:

            Neutral zone play is decent. He’s still working on his backchecking game, which has come a long way this season. Also, board battles is something he is working on.

        • Jon Sorensen says:

          I’m with ya Fyre. Stay on the American-sized rinks My only question re: AHL is the physical aspect of the game. Suzdalev is a lanky kid, still just 18, and could use a few pounds. But that may be the best way to get him there.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Kid’s got a lot of raw talent.

    • novafyre says:

      And courage. He’s not content to just play it safe. Not reckless, but willing to take chances. And obviously having a lot of fun. Can’t wait to see more of him.

  4. Lance says:

    Suds has definitely established himself as a legit prospect. He has a long way to go, of course…happy with the pick. He’ll have to develop all sides of his game to play in the NHL. Plenty of guys can score but unless you can score 50+ that’s not enough. You’ve gotta compete all over the ice.

  5. Anonymous says:

    That last goal was a blistering shot. Good mix, through, 5–hole on the breakaway.

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