Fairport native Nate Sucese is heading to the NHL as today he signed a one-year, entry-level deal with the Arizona Coyotes that begins in the 2020-21 season.
“It feels amazing honestly,” said Sucese. “The work and dedication that’s been put in by not only me but my whole family the last 20 years to make this possible. It’s an incredible feeling to put pen to paper and get my first deal in the National Hockey League.”
Sucese just wrapped up a four-year career at Penn State. He finished his career in Hockey Valley as the program’s all-time leader in points (140) and goals (61). In his senior season, Sucese had a career-season, with 11 goals, 27 assists, and 38 points. His marks for assists and points were career-bests.
His signing is one of many milestones for Rochester hockey this week. McQuaid graduate Jack Dugan of Providence College and Victor graduate David Farrance of Boston University are among the ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, honoring the best Division I ice hockey player.
After his junior year of high school at Fairport, Sucese transferred to a prestigious prep school in Connecticut named The Gunnery. In his final two seasons at Penn State, he played every single game for the Nittany Lions.
“We respect Nate as our all-time leading scorer but respect him even more for his mental toughness and competitive nature when it mattered most,” said head coach Guy Gadowsky in a press release to Penn State Athletics. “He definitely played his best hockey at the end of this season in our most important games, we are thrilled for him and are excited to see his success with the Coyotes.”
Sucese made the NCAA tournament in 2017 and 2018, and was set to make it this past season before the tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Penn State was 7th in the final Pairwise rankings, the metric used to determine the teams in the 16-team field.
Sucese will now turn his attention from making the NCAA tournament, to making an NHL roster.