Alexander Suzdalev Ready For Next Step: “It’s My Job”

Last season, Washington Capitals prospect Alexander Suzdalev played for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League (WHL), the same team as Connor Bedard, who was chosen first overall in the 2023 NHL Draft. But with Bedard graduating to the NHL, Suzdalev is now prepared to take on more of a leadership role with the Pats, should he return to Regina this season. 

Last season, Suzdalev, 19, had the most goals (38), assists (48), and points (86) among rookies in the WHL. His totals were second on Regina, only to Bedard who had a decisive advantage, having scored 71 goals with 72 assists for 143 points overall.

Photo: NHL

Suzdalev described his experience playing with Bedard to’s Swedish site. “It was an unforgettable experience to play with a player like him. I agree that he is a unique player as everyone says. It was an honor.”

Suzdalev was born in Khabarovsk, Russia on March 5, 2004, but moved to Sweden as an 11-year-old when his father, Anatoly, a professional bandy player, signed a contract with Vetlanda BK, a bandy club in Vetlanda, Sweden.

He played his youth hockey with Boro/Vetlanda and HV71. He met Bedard during his time with the latter club during the 2020-21 season. Bedard was “on loan” to HV71 since the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the start of the WHL season.

Bedard and Suzdalev reunited during the 2022-23 season as members of the Regina Pats. Suzdalev also moved in with the Bedard family before the season so they became roommates.

Suzdalev described his relationship with Bedard, “He was always there to help me, which felt good. He helped me every game and with how to adapt to everything here. We were roommates during the away trips too, which helped. He was a good roommate and a great leader.”

He described his own leadership aspirations, “That’s what I’ve been preparing for this summer. It’s my job to produce. I will do everything here last month to prepare to try to start the season strongly.”

His hard work already paid dividends as he participated on the Swedish Team in the 2023 World Junior Summer Showcase from July 29-31. This world junior showcase is the first step in the process of determining the players who would represent Sweden in the IIHF Under 20 World Junior Championships, taking place in Gothenburg from December 24 through January 5. Teams that participated in this year’s showcase, besides Sweden, were Finland and two teams from the United States. [The Capitals’ second-round pick in 2022, defenseman Ryan Chesley, and the Capitals’ first-round pick in 2023, Ryan Leonard, represented the United States in the World Junior Showcase.]

Suzdalev scored one goal in the four games of the World Junior Showcase, impressing Sweden’s head coach Magnus Hävelid. [Note: all four teams compiled records of 2-2 in the showcase.]

“He developed a lot in Canada in the junior league last season. He is much more on the shot now compared to a year ago. He is stronger with the puck in one-on-one situations against defensemen and he protects the puck much better. It helps the team in the sense that he is a skilled player who reads the game and sees the ice in an excellent way. He is ‘hockey tough’ now and that was an important part of his development.”

In addition to playing in the World Junior Summer Showcase, Suzdalev also had time to attend the Capitals’ development camp for young talent.

Suzdalev expressed his opinion of it, saying “It was incredible. What an amazing organization. It was a pleasure to be there and spend a week with everyone there.”

Photo: Nova Caps

The Capitals are impressed with how Suzdalev has grown since they drafted him [2022 Entry Draft – Round 3 – Pick #70 overall].  This includes his offensive output during 2022-23. Granted, playing on the same team as Bedard helped to some degree. But Suzdalev himself confessed he didn’t play much with Bedard in five-on-five situations.

Suzdalev will get another chance to impress the Capitals when the club’s official training camp kicks off.  First, there is the team’s rookie camp, taking place from September 16-19. Then, the team’s training camp begins on September 22. The team has the option of sending him to the Hershey Bears in the AHL, if they wish as he had started his junior hockey career overseas, as opposed to starting in Canada.

Capitals assistant General Manager, Chris Patrick, concurred, “He’s kind of where we hoped he would be developmentally. A skilled, offensive player who needs to become stronger and mature physically. He’s still a little skinny. When you play against professionals, however, you get tough pretty quickly. But I would say that so far, he has lived up to what we expected, or rather hoped for, when we drafted him.”

The full article from the Swedish page of can be found here. (Information from Adam Kimelman and contributions from Tom Gulitti.)

By Diane Doyle

About Diane Doyle

Been a Caps fan since November 1975 when attending a game with my then boyfriend and now husband.
This entry was posted in News, NHL, Washington Capitals and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Alexander Suzdalev Ready For Next Step: “It’s My Job”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Round 3

  2. Brianna says:

    Is Alexander birthdate March 5,2004

  3. Brianna says:

    I was trying to tell you to correct his birthdate it said March 4 not March 5 in the article.

  4. Brianna says:

    Thanks Diane

  5. Anonymous says:

    He’s still so skinny. I know he worked hard all summer to build mass, but I would still worry about him in AHL. Return to Sweden might be the play. There is nothing left to really build him up in WHL/CHL.

    • novafyre says:

      Send him to the Stingrays. Can more easily bring him up to Hershey if needed.

    • DWGie26 says:

      I actually think going back to Pats would be good for him. He has chance to shine outside of Bedard, become a leader on the team, develop two way game. Plenty to prove. Plenty to learn.

      And reality is we have too much Talent in Hershey (and SC). Sending Sudz to Regina frees up a spot in system (hopefully Miro in Hershey).

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