Second City Hockey’s 2020-21 preseason Blackhawks Top 25 Under 25 series ranks the organization’s top 25 players under the age of 25 by Oct. 1, 2020. The rankings are determined by a composite score from three SCH writers and community member, L_B_R. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. All four ballots will be released after the series is completed.
Pius Suter comes to the Blackhawks a season after winning the MVP in the NLA. Chicago should hope he continues the line of successful European prospects brought over in their early 20’s — a list that includes Artemi Panarin, Dominik Kahun and Dominik Kubalik.
In many ways, Suter continues that history. Kubalik was the NLA MVP the season before Suter and had a very similar season — 25 goals and 57 points versus Suter’s 30 goals and 53 points. Kahun was never MVP, but he was a three-time DEL champion before coming to the Blackhawks.
Like Kubalik and Kahun, Suter should debut on the Blackhawks’ third line with hope for a higher role. Unlike Kubalik and Kahun, however, Suter has multiple obstacles in his path as a left wing. Chicago has DeBrincat and Kubalik already in place in the top six on the left side.
Still, Suter has a natural goal-scoring ability and has shown an ability to produce in high-pressure situations. He had 11 points in 18 games in his one playoff run in the NLA. He should be a depth contributor to a Blackhawks team that could always use more offense.
Suter has four points in four games with the ZSC Lions this season in his return to the NLA. He’ll come to North America at the start of training camp and compete for a third-line spot he’s currently the favorite for. He’ll likely spend the season with the Blackhawks.