The Carolina Hurricanes as still hard at work as the season begins, signing another young player for the future. The team has announced a three-year entry-level contract for Ryan Suzuki, who was selected in this year’s first round. GM Don Waddell released a short statement on his newest prospect:
Ryan is a skilled center with strong playmaking ability. He’s an exciting young player, and we believe he has a bright future in the NHL.
Suzuki was the 28th overall pick in June, just two years after his brother was also a first round selection by the Vegas Golden Knights. The younger Suzuki is expected to play with the Barrie Colts again this year, but will climb up the prospect ladder quickly if he continues to find the kind of success he had last season. In 65 games with the Colts, Suzuki recorded 25 goals and 50 assists, totaling 25 more points than the next highest forward on the team. If given a stronger cast this year he very well may challenge for the OHL scoring lead, and perhaps even his brother’s OHL high of 100 points.
The Hurricanes have built quite the prospect pipeline over the last several years, but now as they transition into a contender in the Eastern Conference they will need to keep hitting on late first-round picks like Suzuki. If they can keep supporting their young core with more talent through the draft, the team looks poised for a large competitive window.