Ryan Suzuki has had plenty to adjust to in 2020.
He started the new decade as a member of the Barrie Colts but now finds himself playing stateside with the Saginaw Spirit.
All the while Suzuki, a first-round pick of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, has been recovering from a serious eye injury that forced him to miss nearly two months earlier this season.
The injury happened during a game against the Spirit on Nov. 1 while he was still a member of the Colts.
Suzuki remembers trying to avoid a check; the OHLer ended up taking a stick in the face.
“It was pure black; that’s all I could see out of my right eye. It’s always scary when that happens,” recalled Suzuki, who missed more than a month of game action while he recovered from the injury.
“Over the night, I couldn’t see much. The next morning, I started seeing (a) bit of light, so that was encouraging, but it’s always scary. I couldn’t see there for a couple days, but once my sight started coming back, I was getting more hopeful that it would get back to normal.”
Suzuki returned to game action for Barrie’s final game before the Christmas break on Dec. 19, 2019.
Weeks later, he found out he would be joining the Saginaw Spirit after the team acquired Suzuki at the trade deadline earlier this month.
“Things haven’t returned fully back to normal yet, but it’s still healing and definitely heading in the right direction,” said Suzuki, who has been wearing a full visor on his helmet to give his eyes and face some added protection.
In eight games since joining Saginaw, Suzuki has four goals and 13 points.