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Suzuki: Postseason phenom

The Canadiens' prospect was a standout performer throughout the OHL playoffs

by Pierre-Antoine Mercier, translated by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL /

MONTREAL - Nick Suzuki has rightfully earned his place in the rich history of the OHL.

The London, ON native closed out his Junior career in the best way possible by hoisting the J. Ross Robertson Cup on Sunday, which is presented to the OHL champions. In addition to claiming the League's top prize, Suzuki also earned the Wayne Gretzky Trophy as the postseason MVP.

Tweet from @OHLHockey: The Wayne Gretzky ���99��� Award:Presented to @CanadiensMTL prospect @nsuzuki_37 of @Storm_City voted MVP of the 2019 #OHLPlayoffs.#OHLChampionship | #OTTvsGUE

Suzuki, who was selected 13th overall by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Draft, ranked first in the League in playoff points (42), assists (26) and plus-minus differential (+22). He also ranked second with 16 goals.

Tweet from @OHLHockey: Wow moment by @nsuzuki_37 😱@CanadiensMTL prospect goes spin-o-rama backhand roof on the one-on-one in #BestOfOHL style securing a Game 7 for @Storm_City.#OHLPlayoffs | #SAGvsGUE

His 42 points was an impressive 11 points clear of his closest rival. The last time there was such a significant gap in between the first and second leading point-getters in the OHL playoffs was back in 2015 when Connor McDavid finished the postseason with an 18-point advantage. 

Suzuki is also part of a select group. He's just the fifth player since 2010 to reach the 40-point plateau during a playoff run. He joins NHL stars like McDavid (49 points), Mitch Marner (44 points), Mark Scheifele (41 points) and Matthew Tkachuk (40 points).

Tweet from @Storm_City: .@nsuzuki_37 looks like he's playing NHL 19 on rookie mode today 😳😅#GUEvsSAG

The Canadiens' hopeful also made his mark in the Guelph Storm record books. Suzuki surpassed Martin St. Pierre's mark of 35 points in a single postseason and set a new franchise record in the process.

Tweet from @OHLHockey: Toe drag 👌 Top shelf 👆 Tied series ������A #BestOfOHL kind of night for @CanadiensMTL prospect @nsuzuki_37 who makes @Storm_City history with a 🌪 record 3������8������ points in #OHLPlayoffs. #OHLChampionship | #OTTvsGUE

Never count Suzuki and the Storm out

The Storm showcased their resiliency throughout the playoffs. After a relatively easy first-round sweep of the Kitchener Rangers, Guelph was tested in Round 2.

Down 3-0 in the series to the London Knights, Suzuki and the Storm rallied back to ultimately overcome the huge deficit and win Game 7 in London.

During the Western Conference Finals, George Burnett's squad was down again. This time, they were forced to battle back from a 3-1 series deficit against the Saginaw Spirit. Guelph made it happen, winning the decisive contest on the road.

Suzuki was key to the Storm's efforts to stay alive. The young centerman scored seven goals and collected 17 points in seven games to help Guelph avoid elimination.

Tweet from @Storm_City: 🚨 It was @nsuzuki_37 vs the world... Suzuki won. What a play to set up @isaacratcliffe to make it 1-0! #GUEvsOTT

In the OHL Final, Guelph was down 2-0 in the series to the Ottawa 67's. At that point, Ottawa had yet to drop a playoff game. The Storm managed to win the next two games in Guelph. Finally, Suzuki and his teammates won Game 5 in Ottawa. With the win, the Storm handed the 67's a third straight loss for the first time during the 2018-19 campaign. Suzuki scored twice and registered 10 points in the four consecutive victories.

Tweet from @Storm_City: 🚨 .@isaacratcliffe WITH THE FEED AND @nsuzuki_37 WITH THE FINISH! We're up 5-2! #GUEvsOTT

After winning the OHL crown, Suzuki and the Storm are heading to Halifax to participate in the Memorial Cup.

Tweet from @Storm_City: Your 2018-2019 OHL Champions!! 🏆🏆🏆#Champs #IamtheSTORM

Guelph will play its first game on Saturday against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies who boast Canadiens prospect Joël Teasdale on their roster.

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