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Nick Suzuki Finally Living Up to His Potential: The Numbers Don't Lie and He Looks Like the Next Patrice Bergeron


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Elias Edmonson
January 14, 2024  (6:14 PM)
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Montreal Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki
Photo credit: Montreal Gazette

Patrice Bergeron's retirement will compel the journalists of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association to vote for a new recipient of the Selke Trophy. The Quebecer, who won it six times in his career, was elected as the forward demonstrating the most skill in the defensive component of the game over the last two seasons.

An NHL announcement in May and a Selke Trophy nomination for Suzuki?

Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic developed a model to see who would be the best forward to win various individual honors. The Selke Trophy has not been forgotten and at the top of this list, we can see the name of Nick Suzuki...
Will the NHL announce his nomination in May?
"Suzuki barely meets the shots on goal threshold, but all these years of being hailed as the next Patrice Bergeron seem to finally have merit. If you're wondering why Montreal is surprisingly at .500, Suzuki's elevated defensive play is one of the main reasons. In tough minutes, Suzuki has been on the ice for 2.29 expected goals this season, 0.59 less than the team's average. Among the qualified players on this list, William Karlsson is the second closest with 0.37. He has also been on the ice for only 2.06 goals against 60.

It's easier to look good defensively on a bad defensive team, but the fact that Suzuki's raw numbers don't seem out of place next to some of the other top defensive forwards here on better teams deserves a lot of credit. Even if he's not the favorite, given the number of people who voted for this award, his defensive play this season should firmly put him in the conversation." - Dom Luszczyszyn

It's quite ironic coming from a journalist who, in 2022, had placed Suzuki's contract in the top 10 worst contracts in the league.
Still, the comparison between Bergeron and Suzuki is not new. During the 2022 NHL All-Star game in Vegas, the CH captain, through Chantal Machabée, had the opportunity to meet the Bruins veteran.
"He's a special man"

"It was very friendly. We talked about several things to get to know each other better. We talked about our families, the city of Montreal and I got to meet his three children, but we didn't talk about hockey"

"I watched him closely. Seeing him up close like that was very enriching for me." - Nick Suzuki

In a recent article by the excellent Jonathan Bernier on the TVA Sports website, we learn that the statistics of the CH captain place him among the best forwards in the NHL in a variety of categories. Seeing all these statistics, Marc Bergevin does not seem to have been mistaken in granting him a lucrative eight-year contract in 2021...
Via The Athletic
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Nick Suzuki Finally Living Up to His Potential: The Numbers Don't Lie and He Looks Like the Next Patrice Bergeron

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