Pius Suter will start his 2020-21 season in Switzerland with Grasshopper Club Küsnacht (GCK) Lions in National League B, the country’s second division, after the Blackhawks loaned him to the club Tuesday.
The 24-year-old forward signed a one-year, $925,000 contract with the Blackhawks on July 16, after a career season with ZSC Lions in National League A, Switzerland’s top division. He scored a league-high 30 goals and 53 points to be named NLA MVP.
The GCK Lions are the NLB affiliate for the ZSC Lions.
Suter scored 21 points (12 goals, nine assists) in 33 games for GCK Lions’ under-20 team during the 2012-13 season before he moved to North America to play for the Guelph Storm in the Ontario Hockey League for two seasons. When he returned to his native Switzerland, Suter played one game for GCK Lions U20 team and NLB team in 2015-16 and became a regular for ZSC Lions under Marc Crawford, who is now an assistant coach for the Blackhawks.
Suter is the fifth forward the Blackhawks have loaned to a European team, joining Matej Chalupa (Mountfield HK in Czech Extraliga), Philipp Kurashev (HC Lugano in NLA), Tim Soderlund (Almtuna IS in Sweden’s second division) and Michal Teply (BK Mladá Boleslav in Czech Extraliga).
All five players will play for their respective European teams this fall until Chicago’s NHL training camp begins. The NHL and NHL Players’ Association tentatively agreed to a Dec. 1 start date for the 2020-21 season, with training camps beginning Nov. 17.