The Story of Tomas Suchanek

Suchanek Steals Spotlight in First Season

May 8, 2024

By Morgan Korovec/    

They say good things take time, but for 20-year-old Tomas Suchanek, success has been anything but slow this season.  

In his first professional season with the San Diego Gulls, the goaltender proved something much deeper than his ability on the ice: that success knows no boundaries and that no age is too young to make history. 

Over the 2023-2024 season, Suchanek became the youngest Gulls goaltender to earn a shutout in net, and his four games being the fewest appearances to do so. Suchanek would also be the first Gulls rookie goaltender to record three shutouts in a season.  

Much like how he doesn’t allow many shots from the opponent, another thing Suchanek refuses is to be shut out from his dreams.  

"Never give up," the goalie said. "Just keep your dreams, try to work hard every day. See your goal and just go and work hard for the goal. That was the main thing." 

Though his skill in the net makes things look easy, don’t be fooled by Suchanek’s smile, shining just as bright as he does on the ice.  

His journey hasn’t been an easy ride, but a story of dedication, mentality, and a testament to making one’s dreams a reality. Suchanek went undrafted out of the WHL, where he backstopped the Tri-City Americans for two seasons. He earned a free agent invite to the Anaheim Ducks development camp last summer before signing an AHL contract with San Diego right before the 2023-24 season. 

The Prerov, Czech native will be extending his stay in Southern California, returning next season no longer a rookie. With years to grow and more wins to go, the netminder signed a three-year entry-level contract in March with Anaheim to begin in the 2024-2025 NHL season. 

"It was a pretty crazy, I would say eight months," Suchanek said. "I came with one main goal this season. It was to sign an NHL contract and to try to be an AHL goalie."

"It was hard from the start, but then everything came together and I’m super grateful for that. I’m super grateful for the opportunity. That was just a crazy season, I will say. It was so much fun, and I really enjoyed it."

In 29 games this season, the goaltender posted a 14-10-5 record with three shutouts, a 2.92 goals-against average (GAA) and a .910 save percentage (SV%). His final win of the season came during San Diego’s final contest of 2023-2024, stopping 42-of-45 shots in regulation and OT to seal the win.  

"For me, the main thing was just to stay calm, try to do my job, stop the puck," the netminder said. 

"It was a really great win, the guys played awesome, and I think it just showed what we’ve built so far this season," Suchanek added. "The season was over for us, we had no more chance for playoffs, but to show up and give everything, I think it just shows what team we are and what we’re going for."

Led by an upbeat mentality and a dream he’s kept alive, Suchanek’s story is one that shows all that can happen when you become the one who decided to go for it. Yet somehow, for Suchanek, this is only the beginning.  

"Just having fun, work hard every single day, enjoy this moment," Suchanek said. "I appreciate it, because you don’t get these chances often, so just appreciate it."

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