Prospect Profile: Pius Suter

With the news that EU FA Pius Suter is unexpectedly part of Ottawa’s rookie tournament roster, I thought I’d take a look at him as a prospect if (and this is a big “if”) the Sens decide to sign him. It’s worth noting that the Sens had another EU pro at their development camp (Carl Perrson) and that came to nothing, granting that he’s not the same caliber of player.

Pius Suter, C/LW, 21, 5’11*
2014-15 OHL (Guelph) 61-43-29-72 (1.18 ppg, 4th ppg)
2015-16 NLA (ZSC) 45-14-10-24 (0.53, 11th ppg)
2016-17 NLA (ZSC) 38-17-11-28 (0.73, 4th ppg)
* it’s universally acknowledged he’s shorter–see below

Suter was eligible for the 2014 draft, but an unremarkable regular season with Guelph (66-9-15-24) meant only ISS listed him for the draft (buoyed by his playoff performance); at the time he was thought to be an energetic shutdown center with grit who can chip in offensively. After his monstrous 2015 season (aided undoubtedly by talented teammates), everyone listed him for the draft (I had him slotted in the fourth round). HP referenced his good work the year before and about the current year said “He has a very
good shot and isn’t afraid to go into traffic and he will commonly emerge with the puck.” They also referenced the concern that seems to have left him undrafted–he’s smaller (shorter) than listed. FC talked about his ability on the penalty kill and call him a top-nine, two-way winger; ISS’ description didn’t change; RLR simply said it was rare for a second-year Euro to get drafted, but was impressed by his offensive explosion.

Despite all the praise Suter slipped through the draft–it’s truly mindboggling that his size is the only criticism amongst the scouting data. Suter had already signed with the ZSC Lions prior to the draft and his rookie season was spent buried behind a veteran lineup (making him unpalatable for the 2016 draft). Despite that he was the second most productive 20 and under player behind Auston Matthews. As a 21-year old no other player his age was close to his production. He signed a two-year extension with ZSC in December, but undoubtedly he has an opt-out clause or there’d be no point in him playing in a rookie tournament after the Swiss league season has started (September 8th for him).

What kind of player is Suter? The general sentiment is an energetic third-liner who can kill penalties and add offense. If the Sens sign him there are a few options: 1) he could play in Belleville (he would be the 15th forward, which isn’t an unreasonable number), 2) he could play in Ottawa (this would require a trade or demotion), 3) he could be loaned back to ZSC. Personally I think #1 and #3 are the only serious options and at least from the org perspective I see little point in sending him back to Switzerland (he has nothing left to prove there).

Do I think the Sens will sign him? It’s hard to tell. Pierre Dorion has steered clear of undersized prospects (think of how quickly he pulled the trigger on Jonathan Dahlen); conversely, they’ve signed undersized free agents out of Europe (the lamentable Tom Pyatt as well as Chris DiDomenico–both from the NLA), so the possibility exists. Would he be a good addition to their prospect pool? Yes, I believe he would be.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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  1. […] Prospect Profile: Pius Suter […]


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