Prospect Profile: Tomas Suchanek

Photo: AHL

By Thomas Harrington

The Anaheim Ducks signed goaltender Tomas Suchanek, an undrafted free agent, to an entry-level deal on March 21st. Before that, he had been playing for the San Diego Gulls on an AHL only deal.

After playing in multiple European leagues, Suchanek came to North America and played for the Tri-City Americans in the WHL in the 2021-2022 season. He appeared in 42 games and had a record of 12-24-4 with a .901 save percentage, a 3.87 goals against average, and one shutout. He improved on almost all of those numbers the following year, appearing in 46 games with a record of 27-14-3 and had a .912 save percentage, 3.05 goals against average, and one shutout. Tri-City made the playoffs, and he played in six games and had a 2-4 record with a .893 save percentage and 3.77 goals against average. They lost to Prince George in the first round of the playoffs.

Suchanek also played for Team Czechia at the World Junior tournaments in 2022 and 2023. At the 2022 tournament, he played in five games and had a 1-4 record with a .899 save percentage and a 3.56 goals against average. As he has done with most teams, Suchanek’s numbers improved from one year to the next. At the 2023 tournament, he played in seven games and had a 5-2 record with a .934 save percentage, 1.51 goals against average, and one shutout.

This past season, Suchanek turned pro, playing in both the ECHL and AHL. In the ECHL, he played eight games for the Tulsa Oilers and had a 3-5 record with a .906 save percentage and a 2.77 goals against average. The Gulls were not a great team this past season, but things improved for them significantly in the new year, and Suchanek was a large part of that. He played 29 games for the Gulls and had a record of 14-10-5, a 2.92 goals against average, a .910 save percentage, and three shutouts. The three shutouts are a Gulls rookie record. He was arguably San Diego’s MVP for the season.

Suchanek started the year in the ECHL, but earned a callup to the AHL and made his San Diego debut at the end of November. He won his first career start, which was also San Diego’s third win of the season. He returned to the ECHL in December, but was back in San Diego after the new year and stayed with the Gulls for the rest of the season.

Suchanek is still a number of years away from the NHL. The Ducks are set in net with John Gibson and Lukas Dostal, and if Gibson is traded this summer, the Ducks will almost certainly bring in a veteran goaltender to play with Dostal. 

Suchanek should be back with San Diego this coming season, but he’s going to fight for playing time. The Gulls carried three goaltenders for much of last season, rotating between Suchanek, Calle Clang, and Alex Stalock. It sounds like Stalock will retire, so Clang and Suchanek will likely be San Diego’s two primary goaltenders next season. They essentially were this past season, as Stalock only played in 15 games. However, Anaheim has two other goaltender prospects who could push for time in San Diego: Vyacheslav Buteyets and Gage Alexander. Buteyets played in Russia last year, and this will be his first season in North America. If he can adjust quickly to his new surroundings, I think he’s the one much more likely to push for time with the Gulls. Alexander spent all of last season in the ECHL, so unless he improves dramatically, he probably won’t push Suchanek for playing time.

One thing that Suchanek has shown over the last several years is the ability to improve his numbers year over year, so I have three expectations for him. First, to play the entire season in the AHL and stay out of the ECHL. Second, to improve in every major statistical category from last season. Finally, while I don’t expect him to lead San Diego back to the playoffs, I expect him to help the Gulls be a much more competitive team this season.

Suchanek’s entry-level deal begins next season, and he’ll be a restricted free agent when it’s over. Anaheim is flush with goaltending prospects, so if Suchanek struggles in that time, they’ll probably let him leave as a free agent. However, if he can continue to improve from year to year, I think the Ducks will likely extend him by a couple of years when the current deal ends.

With the prospect profiles complete, it’s time to turn to the graduated prospects, starting with forward Benoit-Olivier Groulx.

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June 23rd, 2024


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