Alexander Suzdalev: 2023 Annual Review And Forecast

Next up in our annual Washington Capitals prospect review and forecast series is Alexander Suzdalev, winger for the Regina Pats in the WHL. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page in the top menu or right here.)


Suzdalev, 19, is a left-hander, listed at 6’2” and 176 pounds. The Capitals selected him with their third-round pick (70th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft. The Capitals acquired the pick as part of the trade that sent goaltender Vitek Vanecek to the New Jersey Devils. The Capitals subsequently signed Suzdalev to a three-year entry-level deal on July 15, 2022, the final day of Capitals 2022 development camp. He will earn $775,000 in each of the first two seasons of the deal and $800,000 (NHL) in the third and $82,500 in the AHL.


Suzdalev was born in Khabarovsk, Russia, but was raised in Sweden. He didn’t grow up playing hockey, but started with the game of Bandy, a game his father, Anatoly, played. Suzdalev recalls he was seven when his family moved from Russia to Sweden after his father signed with a Bandy team there.

Suzdalev spent the 2021-22 season in Sweden, leading HV71’s junior team (Sweden-Jr.) in scoring with 51 points (15G-36A) in 45 regular season games. He also competed with Sweden internationally, appearing in four games with HV71’s U18 team, where he recorded eight points (3G-5A), and skated in five games with HV71 of HockeyAllsvenskan (Sweden-2).

The Regina Pats selected Suzdalev in the second round of the CHL’s 2021 import draft and signed with them for the 2022-23 season on August 30, 2022.

The Capitals selected Suzdalev with their third-round pick (70th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft. The Capitals acquired the pick as part of the trade that sent goaltender Vitek Vanecek to the New Jersey Devils.

“Just really exciting, got some chills on my skin. Really happy and really proud, a great organization,” said Suzdalev. “I was a Caps fan when I was younger, so loved Alex Ovechkin…I would say I’m an offensively-skilled player, likes to be creative, and make scoring chances…I think it’s been great, smaller rink here and really good for me, and develop my game…getting ready to play in NHL, so really good.”

Suzdalev participated in the Caps’ 2022 Prospect Development Camp the week following the 2022 draft, and inked his entry level deal before returning to Regina.

Suzdalev spent a majority of the 2022-23 season starting at right wing on the second line while phenom Connor Bedard centered the top line. However, the Regina head coach quickly went to linking the dynamic duo in his initial in-game adjustments, and did so on a regular basis and in key game situations, including overtime.

Suzdalev led all WHL rookies in goals (38), assists (48), points (86), power play goals (17), and power play assists (19), and tied for first in points per-game (1.30) during the regular season. Suzdalev was named the Regina Pats Rookie of the Year on March 28 and is a lock for WHL Rookie Of The Year, which has yet to be announced.

The Capitals announced on April 14 that Suzdalev had been re-assigned from the WHL Regina Pats to the AHL Hershey Bears. Suzdalev and the Pats were eliminated in the first round of the WHL playoffs the previous weekend. Suzdalev has worked out with the Bears but has yet to see any game action.


The following is a compilation of our month-by-month prospect reports for Alexander Suzdalev during the 2022-2023 season. Also included are his monthly scores (0-5, with 2.5 being average). You can find all of our monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.


Suzdalev attended Capitals development camp in July and signed his entry-level deal before leaving town. Over the summer, Suzdalev was one of 46 Swedes invited to the Sweden’s National Junior team camp held in early August.

Suzdalev signed with the Regina Pats in the WHL on August 20 and opened camp with them on August 31.o7

Suzdalev departed for Washington shortly thereafter to participate in Capitals rookie camp and main training camp in late September. He also played in the Capitals first preseason game before returning to Regina on September 26.

Suzdalev made his regular season debut with the Pats on September 9 against Edmonton, beginning the season at left wing on the second line. He would hookup with Connor Bedard for the overtime game-winner in his first game.

He recorded his first goal of the season on October 2 against the Calgary Hitmen. It would come on the power play.

Suzdalev scored his second goal of the season in the next game against the Wheat Kings in Brandon.

In the end, Suzdalev would record two tallies against the Wheat Kings, giving him three goals in his last two games.

Suzdalev made several less-than-focused passes in the early part of the season. He plays a very loose style, which is good, he just needs to button-up the careless passes.

Suzdalev would post his second two-goal game for the week on October 8 against the Swift Current Broncos. Suzdalev scored his 6th goal of the season the previous night against the Moose Jaw Warriors. It snapped a four-game goalless stretch for the 18-year-old.

Suzdalev has six goals and four assists in 13 games played so far this season. He has spent a majority of the 13 games away from Connor Bedard, on the second line, and alternated between left and right wing.

Monthly Score: 4.0


Suzdalev was a joy to watch in the month of November, admittedly in part due to the creativeness and talent of his younger teammates in Connor Bedard and Tanner Howe. Suzdalev was streaky for the month, having watched all his games.

He would score a pair of two-goal games in a week then be quiet for a game or two. In the end, he had a great month, with nine goals and 11 assists, although a majority of his goals have come on the power play.

Moments later Suzdalev made a nice move along the boards to setup an attempt at “The Michigan”.

“I think Alex is making really good strides. I think Washington is pleased with him also,” said Pats head coach and general manager John Paddock after the game. “There’s lots of strides to keep making, but he brings an element to the game that you have to have and he’s doing a good job.”

Suzdalev notched his 8th marker of the season on November 9 against the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Suzdalev added two more goals to his season total on November 30. The second goal was an overtime game-winner, giving the Regina Pats a 6-5 win over the Kelowna Rockets.

Suzdalev’s first tally of the night came on the power play at 6:05 of the final frame, tying the game, 4-4. He would drive from the left circle, towards the slot, and fire a quick wrister, beating Kelowna netminder Talyn Boyko, glove side.

As noted, Suzdalev’s second tally of the night would be the overtime gsme-winner.

Suzdalev is expected to depart Regina in the coming days in order to join Team Sweden in their preparations for the upcoming 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship beginning in late December. The 47th edition of the Championship is scheduled to be held from December 26, 2022 through January 5, 2023 in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Monthly Score: 3.5


Suzdalev continued to impress with his NHL-caliber shot during the month of December. However, what is really starting to jump out with regards to his game is his inventiveness and creativity on the ice, possibly the best among all Capitals prospects at this point in time.

Having watched most of his games so far this season, his ability to create on the ice has been really impressive. He will make mistakes with his inventiveness (intercepted behind the back passes, etc.) but give credit to the coaches at Regina, they are in no way trying to limit him and his creativity. That’s the right call at this point in his development.

Suzdalev has been discussed quite a bit during Regina Pats games, shedding a bit of insight on him as a player as well as a person. Suzdalev said he feels he is best described as a playmaker (not a goal scorer) and has repeatedly noted he knows what he needs to improve upon in order to make the NHL.

Suzdalev continued to start games at right wing on the second line (away from Bedard) which has been extremely valuable in assessing his game without the “Bedard Factor”. However, he is often teamed with Bedard late in games.

Team Sweden announced their preliminary roster for the 2023 World Junior Championship on December 7 and Suzdalev was not included. Bedard left for Team Canada’s camp following the game on December 4.

Suzdalev scored his 18th goal of the season on December 14 against the Spokane Chiefs, giving him points in eight-straight games, points in 17 of last 18 games and 31 points over last 18 games.

Suzdalev ended his month of December with a power play goal against the Prince Albert Raiders on December 30. It was his 21st goal of the season, giving him points in 20 of his last 22 games played.

Suzdalev has 26 goals and 21 assists in 35 games played so far this season. For what it’s worth, he recorded five goals and seven assists in the 10 games that Bedard was at World Juniors.

Monthly Score: 4.0


Suzdalev continued his impressive play in the month of January, although his offensive production took a slight dip for the month. His hands and puck control are top-level but it’s his creativity on the ice, in conjunction with a wicked shot, that continues to be one of his strongest assets and a fun watch on a nightly basis.

He spoke about his between-the-legs goal after the game.

We’ve mentioned in previous monthly reports that some credit must be given to the Regina Pats, for not trying to limit Suzdalev’s creativity or try to reign it in. Pats head coach after game on Suzdalev’s between the legs goal:

The 6’1″ Khabarovsk, Russia native has been on an offensive tear since the conclusion of 2022, and was named the WHL Rookie of the Month for December for his performance.  Suzdalev has been most impressive on the power play, and has worked well with phenom Connor Bedard.

For the month of January, Suzdalev had four goals and nine assists in 11 games played. For the season he has 25g, 35a in 44 games played. He’s shot the puck 104 times for a 24.0% shooting percentage on the season.

Monthly Score: 4.0


Suzdalev continued to impress in the nine games we watched in the month of February, notching another 10 goals and six assists in 10 games played. He’s shot the puck 133 times for a 25.6% shooting percentage. WHL scouts that we talked to in February say Suzdalev is a shoe-in for Rookie Of The Year in the WHL.

Suzdalev had tried ‘The Michigan’ several times so far this season, but was unable to convert. He finally pulled of the shot on February 17 against the Prince Albert Raiders.

Suzdalev recorded his first career WHL hat trick on February 25 against the Brandon Wheat Kings in Regina.

Suzdalev met with the media following the game. Suzdalev has always been a play-maker, but said that he has been encouraged to shoot more as the season progresses. This will be interesting to see if he does indeed focus on shooting more, as his shot can be lethal.

Where Suzdalev plays next season is an interesting case. An argument can be made that he should play one more season in the CHL, although the counter-argument could be made that he has gleaned a bulk of the learning curve and developmental value in junior hockey. He still needs work on puck battles, making sound decisions and the overall 200’ game which could be a better developmental fit with the AHL or in Europe.

[EDIT] On March 1 The Western Hockey League announced today that Regina Pats forward Alexander Suzdalev has been named the WHL Rookie of the Month for the month of February. Suzdalev was previously named the WHL Rookie of the Month for December 2022.

Monthly Score: 4.0


The Western Hockey League announced on March 1 that Suzdalev was named the WHL Rookie of the Month for the month of February. Suzdalev led all first-year players with nine goals in February, finishing the month with 15 points from his 10 appearances. He also recorded his first WHL hat-trick as part of a four-point effort February 25 versus the Brandon Wheat Kings. Suzdalev was previously named the WHL Rookie of the Month for December 2022.

Suzdalev celebrated his 19th birthday with his 36th goal of the season on March 5 against the Saskatoon Blades.

Suzdalev led all WHL rookies in goals (38), assists (48), points (86), power play goals (17), and power play assists (19), and tied for first in points per-game (1.30). He’s a lock to win rookie of the year in the Western Hockey League (WHL) this season, but in the mean time the Regina Pats named Suzdalev their Nick Pappas Rookie of the Year on March 27.

Monthly Score: 3.5


Suzdalev led all WHL rookies in goals (38), assists (48), points (86), power play goals (17), and power play assists (19), and tied for first in points per-game (1.30).

Suzdalev and Regina Pats fell in the first round of the WHL playoffs. As a result, The Capitals announced on April 14 that Suzdalev had been re-assigned from the WHL Regina Pats to the AHL Hershey Bears. He has seen no game action but remains in Hershey for the postseason.

Monthly Score: 3.5



Suzdalev and “The Connor Bedard Traveling Circus” was an extremely fun watch this season (in looking back at my notes, it appears I watched 47 games, and enjoyed every one of them). Every road game was a sellout, truly a “circus”, with some of the away venues setting game attendance records that were decades old.

“The Bedard Factor” did impact the ability to conduct Suzdalev assessments to a certain degree. You want to see how he performs with top talent like Bedard, but you also want to see how he does on his own, and with more realistic players comparable to his own development track.

Suzdalev plays a very loose style, sees the ice extremely well and is creative in his playmaking., he just needs to button-up on the the careless plays, passes, etc. He also needs to work on his 200-foot checking game and overall defense, but that is typical for a teenage prospect.

There is little additional to gain for Suzdalev in the CHL, but it might be the safest play for him next season. What Suzdalev needs to add to his game (physicality, puck battling, quicker pace, defense etc.) can only be found in the AHL, but it’s debatable if he is ready, simply from a physical standpoint. At 176 pounds, Suzdalev needs to find at least 10 pounds this summer if he was to head to Hershey.

By Jon Sorensen

Alexander Suzdalev Re-assigned To Hershey Bears
Alexander Suzdalev Scores Twice In Must-Win Game 6 For Regina Pats
Alexander Suzdalev Records Three Assists, Including Primary Assist On Overtime Game-Winner In Game 2 Of First Round Of WHL Playoffs
Alexander Suzdalev Wins Regina Pats Rookie Of The Year Award
Capitals Prospect Alexander Suzdalev Records First Career WHL Hat Trick
Alexander Suzdalev Pulls Off ‘The Michigan’
What Has Alexander Suzdalev Enjoyed About His First Year Of Hockey In North America? “Everything So Far”
Did That Just Happen?! Capitals Prospect Alexander Suzdalev Scores Insane Between-the-Legs Goal
Capitals Prospect Alexander Suzdalev Named WHL Rookie Of The Month
Alexander Suzdalev Continues Scoring Rampage, Has 34 Points in Last 19 Games
Alexander Suzdalev Scores Two Goals Including Overtime Game-Winner Against Kelowna Rockets

2022-2023 Prospect Reviews And Forecasts
Ryan Chesley
Joaquim Lemay
Mitchell Gibson
Ivan Miroshnichenko
Chase Clark
Brent Johnson
David Gucciardi
Oskar Magnusson
Jake Karabela
Ludwig Persson
Clay Stevenson
Bear Hughes
Haakon Hanelt
Benton Maass
Martin Has
Henrik Rybinski
Bogdan Trineyev

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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11 Responses to Alexander Suzdalev: 2023 Annual Review And Forecast

  1. Dave says:

    Hi Jon!

    And now for something completely different…

    On an unrelated note, I noticed NHL Network will be showing some World Championship games, starting this Friday with US vs Finland at 9 am. Sandin and Team Sweden will be on Sunday at 1:00 pm.

  2. GRin430 says:

    I agree with Jon’s view that this kid has learned what he can in juniors — that’s not the place to learn system play and defensive responsibility.

    I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to add the pounds he needs — like most kids, he’ll realize pretty quickly once he plays against grown men that he’s going to need that strength. Nature will help him gain it as he matures, even if he isn’t a weight-room warrior. I don’t expect him to turn into Tom Wilson, but most NHL players aren’t as strong as Wilson either.

    The key for Suzdalev in Hershey will be the coach, and how patient that coach is — will Suzdalev be allowed to make mistakes and not play a 200′ game, or will they push him really hard to play “the right way”. It can be a difficult balancing act with a kid like Suzdalev. He needs to learn to play the right way, but they also need to allow him to use his creativity (though I personally hate blind backhanded passes into traffic, which he appears to love). So how much leash does he get before he gets benched?

    Remember Vrana had a very difficult time in Hershey due to his unwillingness to play a full-length-of-the-ice game, and those problems have continued throughout his career. Suzdalev may not be Vrana, but the Caps will have to figure out exactly how hard they can push him without hampering his development. Here’s hoping he wants to learn and will truly dedicate himself to playing hard in all 3 zones. If he does, he could turn out to be a 3rd-round steal.

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

    Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I vote for Suz moving up to Hershey next season. We saw when McMichael stayed the extra season in OHL, he dominated, but he wasn’t challenged as much as possible.

    • Anonymous says:

      McMichael only played a D+1 season in the OHL, the Covid season (which cancelled all of OHL play) allowed him to play in Hershey a year early, people forget this alot. Suzdalev can play in Hershey earlier than Mikey otherwise would’ve because he was drafted out of europe and loaned to the CHL.

  5. Prevent Defense says:

    Sudsy, Miro and Triny all have serious scoring talent. So do McMichael, Lapierre and Frank. A bunch of baby Caps defensemen are splendidly talented.

    It’s Time for the Caps Coaching Club to quit Kvetching, figure it out and convert all that talent into success. Tired of the Caps Perpetual Excuse Factory

  6. Anonymous says:

    Trade him and a 3rd to the Hawks for a late1st rd

    • Anonymous says:

      Hell No!! I’m not trading him to the Hawks. I want a future lineup with Suzy, Miroschnichenko and whoever they draft this year all in a future lineup. Dream scenario for me would be landing Michkov a Nikita Kucherov ceiling player. Either he falls to 8th or they move up to secure him. But in Post OVI Era capitals the core pieces are starting to come together with another STUD drafted this year and the players already mentioned in the system with high end ability

  7. David says:

    Reading his scouting reports from his draft year, the only knock on him was his skating ability. Does anyone have insight if he’s improved in that regard?

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