The Blackhawks may have their eyes on another European import.
This time it’s Swiss forward Pius Suter, according to Scott Power of The Athletic.
Suter, 24, had a dominant 2019-20 regular season with the Zurich SC Lions, leading the Swiss National League with 53 points while scoring 30 goals. Those numbers aren’t far off from Dominik Kubalik’s ‘18-19 season totals of 25 goals and 32 assists in 50 games, a performance that helped him register on the Blackhawks radar. Reports of Suter drawing interest from the NHL surfaced in March, and Suter announced on Monday that he was invoking an exit clause in his contract with the intention of playing in the NHL next season:
It's now confirmed that Pius Suter will leave the @NLSLOfficial for the @NHL.— NL Ice Data (@NLIceData) July 13, 2020
He had a dominant season in 19/20:
- best xGF% (from @MySports_CH)
- best CF% (from @InStatHockey)
- best P1/60, G/60, iCF/60 at ES
Find more stats at https://t.co/nob9qalwJF https://t.co/ENpKUbVhSS pic.twitter.com/ceJiOxYHkI
Although never drafted by an NHL team, Suter does have some experience playing in North America, having spent his junior career with the OHL’s Guelph Storm (2013-15). Suter was invited to the Ottawa Senators’ rookie camp in 2017 but returned to his native Switzerland soon after and has remained there.
Along with the potential for another talented addition to the roster, adding Suter may help the Blackhawks fill out a roster while navigating a very difficult salary cap situation over the next few seasons.
Should he sign with the Blackhawks, though, Suter would not be eligible to play in the upcoming series against the Edmonton Oilers.