Alexander Suzdalev Has Immediate Sights Set On Making It To Next Level, And Making Team Sweden’s World Juniors Roster

Washington Capitals forward prospect Alexander Suzdalev is uncertain where he is going to play for the 2023-24 season. He could go back to the Regina Pats of the WHL, or he could play for the Hershey Bears. According to Capitals assistant general manager Ross Mahoney, that will depend on his performance this fall in Capitals training camp. 

“[It’s] always [a fun] experience coming here in North America and have camp here with the Capitals organization,” Suzdalev said following day 2 of the Capitals 2023 development camp. “You learn more stuff now and you keep stuff last year and it’s great to come second year and you know some people and you’re kind of familiar.”

This is the 19-year-old’s second Capitals development camp. The 2022 third-round selection led all WHL rookies with 86 points (38 goals, 48 assists) and was Regina’s second leading scorer, trailing only Connor Bedard. Suzdalev was also named to the CHL All-Rookie team

There is a lot to like about Suzdalev’s game. He is a strong playmaker with a powerful shot, though he tends to be careless with the puck at times because of his loose style of play. His 200-foot game also needs improvement as he was a minus-4, but that will likely come in time.

“Strength is going to be important for me this summer. I try to focus [on it] everyday here,” Suzdalev said.

The ultimate goal for any hockey player is to play at the highest level. If Suzdalev fails to go to the AHL, his next goal will be to make Team Sweden’s World Junior squad. He was named to Team Sweden’s roster for the upcoming World Junior Summer Showcase taking place later this month in Plymouth, Michigan. The showcase is used for national teams to assess their prospective talent for this year’s World Junior Championship to be held in Sweden this December.

Related: Alexander Suzdalev: 2023 Annual Review And Forecast

With the tournament being held in his homeland, and also failing to make the U20 team last year, the 6-foot-2 left-winger has extra motivation to make the final roster and represent his country. 

“A good summer of training will probably help determine where he ends up,” assistant general manager Ross Mahoney said. “When we drafted him, he was slight and so the American Hockey League is a fantastic league. Big, strong adults are playing in that league.”

Suzdalev will be competing against high-end talent, such as Buffalo Sabres first round pick Noah Östlund, and Detroit Red Wings first round pick, Axel Sandin Pellikka. However, despite his motivation to get to the next level, Suzdalev only has one focus in mind right now. 

“I’m just trying to develop my game and I think at camp and September we’ll see where I can play,” he said. 

Suzdalev was also with the Bears during their Calder Cup run, to get a taste of what being a pro hockey player was like. 

“I am very grateful for that and being around champions,” Suzdalev said. “It was a good experience. Very good team. Very good leaders.”

By Jacob Cheris

Alexander Suzdalev: 2023 Annual Review And Forecast

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.
This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Alexander Suzdalev Has Immediate Sights Set On Making It To Next Level, And Making Team Sweden’s World Juniors Roster

  1. Prevent Defense says:

    Great piece, Jacob C.!

    Sudzy has tools. A great attitude too. Will the new top-to-bottom-integrated Caps system work for Sudzy? The Newcoach Carbery era is on display now. The Caps dedicated Fan Base wants prospect results, i.e., a successful Caps team packed with successful Hershey Bears recruits.

    Two new Caps “Hockey verbs” are in play. One is “to Stephenson,” as in “Don’t Stephenson that rookie” and we all know the significance. Chandler Stephenson tears it up in the Other Guy’s conference on the Other Guy’s team, after being mis-utilized and mal-evaluated by the dreadful Reirden Regime. “To Stephenson” is a pejorative of the Parent Club. This new verb was invented at NovaCapsFans by both staff and commenters!

    Two is “to Giroux.” This Caps Hockey verb is pointed at the Farm System, but really at the whole system. Closely similar to “To Stephenson,” the reference is to Hershey Bear Alexandre Giroux who executed a 60-goal season for Hershey in 2008-09, followed by 50 more goals in 2009-10. How do you screw up that kind of talent? Yet somehow Giroux flamed-out in the NHL and has been a worldwide journeyman ever since. He was still playing for “Thetford Mines Assurancia” in the LNAH in the 2021-22 season. Kuznetsov himself remarked to the press years ago that he couldn’t believe how many goals Mr. Giroux had compiled. Alexandre was Giroux-ed.

    It took a LOT of negative effort by many senior people to spoil Giroux’s career and discard Stephenson, only to watch him blossom with rival teams. Suzdalev is among a fairly large clutch of talented Caps’ forward recruits. Now we get to see if the latest incarnation of The Caps “System” will convert their talents to success — or give us more Stephenson and Giroux.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Interesting take on Giroux and some type of conspiracy to keep him out of the NHL. He had a great shot and was excellent in the AHL. He had opportunities in the NHL but unfortunately his shot didn’t translate to the NHL, and didn’t have the speed or 200 ft. game. For Hershey fans, he was a pleasure to watch while in Hershey.

  3. Prevent Defense says:

    If you want to hear from a bright, talented, superb young man with a BRIGHT future with the Caps’ organization … Pull up the interview with Alex Suzdalev that’s on the Caps twitter-feed. Made some great tongue-in-cheek quips about being in the shadow of Connor Bedard. I’ll be rooting for Sudzy to look good in Caps Red someday soon

Leave a Reply