There is no doubt that Pius Suter is full of potential: Great offensive awareness, compete level, gets to the dirty areas, and has magic hands. There were many teams that inquired Suter for his services but his connection to Marc Crawford of the Blackhawks is what brought him to Chicago.
Thank goodness for that.
In the last fifteen games, Suter has shown why he was the MVP of the Swiss National League. Since he arrived, he has been able to play with any line, whether it be a checking line or a skill line. He can generate chances with his compete level (forecheck vs Columbus for a goal) or his skill (baiting Klingberg in OT with an amazing move to win the game vs Dallas).
He shows exceptional patience with the puck, as he displayed with his assist on Ian Mitchell’s first NHL goal against Columbus, though they lost the game, the youth showed a great outing offensively.
He is a natural winger, though, so playing him at the win may be the best idea for the Blackhawks moving forward. Yes, he has turned the puck over a few times, causing high-risk chances against, but that’s a rookie mistake that players will commit in their first year.
Pius Suter is living up to the hype, scoring a beautiful goal in OT against Dallas to top it off.
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He can also win board battles, which makes him a valuable asset on any line. He is one of the many rookies that should be on the team for the long term as he could definitely be part of the Kirby Dach era of Blackhawks hockey for (hopefully) the next fifteen years or more.
The problem? The team will be against the salary cap for a long time, and there will be other guys like Philipp Kurashev and Ian Mitchell, not to mention Kirby Dach’s next deal, that could hinder the team’s rebuild and be forced to part with some of their quality young guys from this year.
The Blackhawks should let most of the veterans from this year walk to sign their young guys to two year, cheap bridge deals if they and the prospects want things to work out.
Suter’s deal is up at the end of this shortened season, and he could command a bridge deal around 3 million for two years if he and the Blackhawks want to stay together for the future. We can only hope that the Blackhawks will learn from their mistakes and not mess this up.