Suzuki had been out due to an upper-body injury, an injury that caused him to miss the entirety of the Hurricanes’ training camp and preseason.
Suzuki, 21, was the 28th overall pick at the 2019 NHL draft and has thus far struggled to translate his success at the OHL level into success in the pro ranks. Suzuki has just 24 points in 60 career AHL games, and the increased physicality has in particular been a challenge for Suzuki.
Last season, Suzuki scored 14 points in 34 AHL games. Worth noting is the developmental environment Suzuki has been placed in at AHl Chicago. The Wolves are an independently-owned AHL franchise whose first priority is competing for Calder Cups, not player development.
That’s something they do successfully, as they won the Calder Cup last year, and an entirely respectable organizational priority. But on the flip side, the club is more eager to give AHL veteran scorers such as Stefan Noesen and Andrew Poturalski the sort of offensive opportunities other organizations might reserve for their top prospects.
So while Suzuki certainly hasn’t met expectations thus far at the AHL level, it is important to note the unique developmental situation he’s been placed in, as it undoubtedly has played a role in his growth as a professional player.