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Putting each of Pius Suter’s NHL seasons into the DAWG Rating formula and projecting his DAWG in 2023-24

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Photo credit:David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Faber
By Faber
8 months ago
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We decided to run Pius Suter through the DAWG Rating calculator to see what type of dog we can expect from the newest signing.
The DAWG Rating is a measurement of how effective a player is physically, how well they can transition the puck, and what they can do in the offensive zone to create offence for their teammates. An average rating is 30-60, with some of the better DAWG players being closer to 100. The formula is 50% publically available stats with the other half having to be manually tracked. We went back and watched eight games from each of Suter’s three NHL seasons to establish enough data to put through the DAWG Rating formula. the eight games were randomly selected, so though this isn’t an exact answer on Suter’s DAWG Rating, it is a good enough sample from each season to figure out his DAWG Rating.
If you want to learn more about the DAWG Rating, there’s an introductory article HERE.
We will begin with Suter’s rookie season in 2020-21 — which happened to be the COVID-shortened season.
Suter played his rookie year with the Chicago Blackhawks and his two most consistent linemates were Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat. Suter was solid defensively on a Blackhawks team that had a 24-25-7 record in the Central Division.
We saw Suter block a lot of shots this season and he was also able to play physically but be willing to take a hit to get himself another half-second to make a play. He was adjusting to the NHL after some years in the Swiss league but also very much benefited from playing with two star-level wingers at the time with Kane and DeBrincat.
Suter finished the 2020-21 season with a 60.45 DAWG Rating. This is a bit above average for a season-long DAWG Rating. He did a lot of the transitional and offensive creation well this year and had a career-high in shots blocked per hour.
Things fell off a bit when Suter moved on to the Detroit Red Wings for the 2021-22 season.
Suter’s most consistent linemates in his first year with Detroit were Robby Fabbri and Filip Zadina — which is a stiff dropoff after playing with Kane and DeBrincat.
The 2021-22 season brought Suter’s DAWG Rating down to 50.31. He was blocking fewer shots, hitting less, and though he did a good job of transitioning the puck from the defensive zone, his offensive creation looked more selfish than it had in the past. Being a bit more selfish isn’t a bad thing, like we mentioned earlier, when your linemates drop off like Suter’s did, you might need to put more on your own plate.
Unfortunately, though offensive counting stats do come into the formula, there’s a premium put on making your linemates better and creating efficient offensive chances.
 
We saw another drop in the DAWG Rating when Suter returned for his second season with the Red Wings.
His two most consistent linemates were Oskar Sundqvist and Lucas Raymond or Adam Erne.
The lack of established talent on his wings hurt the DAWG rating and Suter posted a 46.99 DAWG Rating during the 2022-23 NHL season.
It was the most physical season of Suter’s career, who averaged 2.18 hits per 60 minutes at five-on-five but he also began to shoot the puck less and didn’t do a great job of getting to the high-danger scoring areas with his linemates. You could see that the offence was coming from further away from the net and there were more low-danger shot attempts.
Suter will have better linemates next season than he did in his two years with the Red Wings and with that, we hope to see Suter’s DAWG Rating climb back into the 60s.
He will need to get back to playing with some bite and being able to maintain his above-average skill of being able to move the puck from the defensive zone to the offensive zone on the ice.
There’s not going to be a lot of physicality in Suter’s game but he isn’t going to be absent when it comes to hits. When we went back and watched all of his 91 hits over his NHL career, there were maybe two or three that would qualify as ‘big hits’. He’s more of a finish-the-check and keep-your-feet-moving hitter rather than using hits to stop an opponent or pin them on the boards.
We’re hoping to see a 60+ DAWG Rating for Suter next season. If he sits above 60, that means he’s doing a lot of what we want from him defensively while also finding a solid level of offence alongside his new linemates. We’re not getting a guard dog here with Suter but he’s got above-average DAWG Ratintg potential with most players falling into the 30-60 range for their DAWG Rating.

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