The Chicago Blackhawks had one of the youngest rosters in the NHL this season, making use of many different rookies throughout the year.
One of these young guns was forward Pius Suter. The 24-year-old from Zurich, Switzerland signed as an undrafted free agent with the Blackhawks last summer. He had a ton of praise thrown at him by analysts who saw his potential. However, some questioned how he would transition to the NHL after playing in Europe since 2015.
The questions were quickly answered, though, as Suter proved himself to be an integral part of the Blackhawks’ forward group this year. He didn’t waste any time in getting on the scoresheet. He scored his first NHL goal in only his sixth game, and followed that up with two more to nab his first NHL hat trick. Per the NHL’s PR department, Suter was only the second ‘Hawk in franchise history to score his first three career goals in the same game.
From the remarkable performance in his first game, Suter only improved. He only missed one game in the shortened season, taking the ice for 55 contests. He ended the year with 14 goals and 13 assists. These 27 points display a terrific outing for a guy in his rookie season, and who knows how many more tallies he could’ve picked up had the team played a full 82 games.
Suter is certainly not the biggest guy on the ice, coming in at 5’9 and 176 pounds. However, what he lacks in physicality he makes up for in prowess with the puck. He has incredibly quick hands and is able to maintain control of the puck in tight situations, as seen in his overtime goal on Feb. 9 against the Dallas Stars:
Clearly, Pius Suter made a tremendous impact on the Blackhawks this season and was one of the rookies that the team will want to have around for a long time. That, unfortunately, is a big question going into the offseason. Suter now finds himself in the rare circumstance of being a restricted free agent after his first year in the NHL.
With the cap relief that the team had this year, hopefully, general manager Stan Bowman will be able to make a deal happen so that Suter is able to stay in the Windy City. Given the fact that the team’s big UFAs aren’t coming up until the 2023-24 season, it should give some leeway in terms of signing Suter to a new contract.
Overall, Pius Suter had a great year for the Chicago Blackhawks, and he stood out as one of the team’s bright spots in a season that had very few. It would be awesome to see him back in a ‘Hawks sweater, and he does reportedly want to stay in Chicago, so any word of a contract being negotiated would be welcome news.