Suess happy to be playing in Winnipeg

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Had C.J. Suess decided to wait another few months to become an NHL free agent, the decision could have resulted in a bidding war for his services and possibly a bigger payoff.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/03/2018 (1716 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Had C.J. Suess decided to wait another few months to become an NHL free agent, the decision could have resulted in a bidding war for his services and possibly a bigger payoff.

But after completing his fourth year with the Minnesota State University Mavericks recently with the 24-year-old named the Western Collegiate Hockey Association offensive player of the year, Suess signed a one-year, entry-level contract with the Winnipeg Jets.

Suess said the decision to sign with Winnipeg was an easy one because of the relationship he had built with the Jets after they drafted him in the fifth round (129th overall) in 2014. The contract doesn’t kick in until the 2018-19 season, and will pay the Forest Lake, Minn., native US$925,000.

“We’ve built up a relationship where we know each other pretty well, and I felt like it was going to be the best fit going forward,” Suess said Wednesday, following his first practice with the Manitoba Moose. Suess has been signed to an amateur tryout with the Moose and will play with the Jets’ AHL affiliate for the remainder of the season.

“It’s really important just to know where you’re at with them. Keeping in contact, you know what they’re thinking and that they’re excited to have you. They showed that throughout, and I’m excited to be here,” Suess said.

Suess was named a Hobey Baker finalist after scoring 22 goals and 43 points in 40 games. The Mavericks were ousted from the NCAA Division I national tournament in the first round.

“It helps having a good team around you to support you and help you become a Hobey Baker finalist,” Suess said. “Without them that wasn’t really possible. Overall it was a great season.”

Suess now hopes he can help out his new team. He arrived in Winnipeg on Tuesday and played in his first AHL game Wednesday against the Rockford IceHogs at Bell MTS Place.

Prior to puck drop, Moose head coach Pascal Vincent said he likes what he’s seen from the young forward.

“I saw him this morning and he was a little bit nervous, as he should be. If he would have been calm, I would be really nervous about how he was going to approach his first game,” Vincent said. “He’s a smart player, and the reports have been good. He’s a good skater who can play in this league. His hockey sense should be a little bit above average. He can put up points, and he works hard. He has a lot of good components that can help us.”

jeff.hamilton@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @jeffkhamilton

Jeff Hamilton

Jeff Hamilton
Multimedia producer

After a slew of injuries playing hockey that included breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone; a tear of the medial collateral ligament in both knees; as well as a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a good idea to take his interest in sports off the ice and in to the classroom.

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