IQ: Suzuki is one of the most polished young forwards around, and that is due in large part to his hockey sense. He’s continually in the right place at the right time. He also makes sound decisions more often than not. He’ll carry the puck if he senses space, he’ll distribute it if he spots a better option and he’ll drive to the net if he sniffs out a second-chance opportunity.
Vision: He’s as poised as it gets with the puck on his stick, always recognizing how much time he has to scan the ice and pick his play. He’s particularly effective at finding seams for saucer passes and using defensemen as screens for his wrister. This has made him a true dual threat on the power play.
Defense: Responsible three-zone hockey comes naturally to him. He’s incredibly disciplined in his positioning, maintaining inside leverage and forcing opponents to work for their chances. His great anticipation and active stick allow him to break up plays on a regular basis. Going up against him is never an easy outing.
Skating: While he isn’t an outright poor skater, he does lack the explosion and agility required to create separation in one-on-one scenarios. This also makes defending the league’s true burners quite difficult. There’s no telling how good he could be if he made a serious commitment to improving his skating.
Consistency: Suzuki is a high-floor player. However, on many nights, he’s content to merely do his part instead of trying to control a greater portion of the game. If he can channel his inner Patrice Bergeron more often than his Derek Stepan, he can truly break out and take his place among the most valuable centers in the sport.