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Last season at this time, Nathan Sucese was a member of the Wolves while on a Professional Tryout Contract, hoping to impress the team brass and secure a roster spot.
So when general manager Wendell Young went about putting together the roster for the ’23-24 season, Sucese was among his first calls–and this time the contract offer was an AHL deal for the season.
“Last season, I was kind of on pins and needles a little bit every day coming to the rink being on a tryout,” Sucese said. “Obviously, Wendell liked what he saw to give me a deal and then be one of the early signings this season.
“I love it here,” he continued. “I think we have a great group of guys and I’m excited to see what we can build on.”
Sucese put in the foundation for a strong ’23-24 campaign by scoring the Wolves’ first goal of the season last Saturday against the Milwaukee Admirals and followed up with an assist in Wednesday’s contest against the Texas Stars.
“I’m just trying to get in the coaching staff’s eye and show them what I can do and earn a little bit more ice time every single day and get a little bit better every day,” Sucese said. “I’m at that point where I’m in Year 4 of it now, so there’s no really dipping the toes in.”
Sucese has already undergone one significant change this season, switching his number from No. 25 to No. 14–not that he had much choice in the matter.
“Chris Terry has the upper hand on my by about 700 pro games and the equipment guys told me that we have a guy who has 800 games played and he’s taking No. 25 and what number did I want?” Sucese said with a laugh. “I wore No. 14 in Junior and college so it’s good to be back to it.”
Coming soon the Wolves’ lineup is forward Max Comtois. The 24-year-old forward inked an AHL deal Monday after spending time in the Anaheim Ducks and Vegas Golden Knights training camps this preseason.
“I had some different options but I got the call from Chicago and it seemed like the right decision,” Comtois said. “With the team not being an affiliate to anybody, it gives me a place to keep playing and play with good players and try to get back to the NHL.”
The Longueuil, Quebec, native was a second-round pick by the Ducks in the 2017 NHL Draft and has 38 goals and 48 assists for 86 points in 210 NHL games with the Anaheim.
Comtois does much of his damage from in close.
“I just go to the net–I’m pretty strong down low and I can play all positions,” Comtois said. “I’m trying to get back to having fun and working hard and getting back to scoring goals. I’m a really offensive guy.”
The 6-foot-2-inch, 215-pound Comtois has also skated in 35 games in the AHL with the San Diego Gulls, recording 10 goals and 15 assists. He added five goals and four assists in 12 games during the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs.
REPUBLIC BANK SAVE OF THE WEEK
Matt Donovan not only leads the Wolves with three points–all assists–but the veteran blue liner also displayed his defensive prowess during last Saturday’s season opener. With the game tied at 1-1 in the third period, Donovan laid out to thwart an Admirals scoring opportunity, helping the Wolves secure a point when the game went to overtime.
IMPACT PLAY OF THE WEEK
With the Wolves trailing by three goals in the opening period of Wednesday’s game against Texas, forward Dominic Franco put together this gem to score shorthanded and give the Wolves life.
C.D.E. COLLISION CENTERS’ COLLISION OF THE WEEK
During Wednesday’s game against Texas, Wolves forward Kyle Marino welcomed the Stars’ Lian Bichsel to Chicago.
Weekly rewind (0-1-1-0)
SATURDAY, OCT. 14
Admirals 2, Wolves 1 (OT): Nathan Sucese scored and Adam Scheel was sensational in goal to help the Wolves earn a point but the Admirals prevailed when Spencer Stastney scored the game-winner early in overtime.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 18
Stars 7, Wolves 3: Dominic Franco, Austin Strand and Cory Conacher each had goals for the Wolves but it wasn’t enough as the Stars skated to the victory.
First Star of the Week
DOMINIC FRANCO, F
The 27-year-old forward scored his first goal of the season–and the Wolves’ first shorthanded score–on Wednesday against the Stars. Franco is tied with Hudson Elynuik for the team lead with six shots on goal.
Where we stand
0-1-1-0, sixth in the Central Division.
|Saturday, Oct. 21||at Rockford||7 p.m.||BMO Center||AHLTV|
|Sunday, Oct. 22||vs. Texas||3 p.m.||Allstate Arena||AHLTV|
|Wednesday, Oct. 25||at Iowa||7 p.m.||Wells Fargo Arena||AHLTV|
|Saturday, Oct. 28||vs. Cleveland||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||AHLTV/My50 Chicago|
For information on Wolves ticket plans for the 2023-24 season — everything from single-game tickets to Flex Packs to group outings — visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.