NHL Draft Prospect Profile #49: Lukas Sutter
Drafted 39th Overall by the Winnipeg Jets.
Hockey’s 1st family is back with yet another member. Young Lukas Sutter of the Saskatoon Blades is the latest of the Sutter clan to come out of the hockey factory they must have on that Alberta farm. The son of Rich Sutter, Lukas was born in St. Louis, Missouri while his dad was a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. He would however grow up in Lethbridge, Alberta and considers himself to be Canadian. Lukas has gone from a fourth line player with Saskatoon in 2010-11, to one of the most important and most utilized forwards on the team this year. He joins Saskatoon teammate Dalton Thrower in our NHL Draft Rankings. Lukas will look to join his famous father, uncles, and cousins in increasing the presence of Sutters in the NHL.
Born Oct 4 1993 — Lethbridge, ALTA
Height 6.00 — Weight 199 — Shoots Left
Lukas Sutter certainly lives up to the family tradition and plays the game in the Sutter way. There must be something in the family’s DNA that just keeps churning out forwards who play a gritty, physical game, who are defensively responsible, and who work their tails off in all aspects of the game. Lukas is no different, and the game he plays is not surprising at all, for anyone who knows the Sutter family history.
Lukas is a premier agitator and checker. He is put out against the other teams’ best players on a regular basis and he understands how to hit, jab, slash, facewash, chirp and generally annoy those members of the other team. He’s constantly in his opponents’ face and doesn’t back down from a fight, as evidenced by his 179 PIMs in 2010-11 and 165 PIMs in 2011-12. However Lukas’ enthusiasm and truculence do need to be reigned in as he has a tendency to take too many minor penalties, which can be a liability for his team. In the defensive zone, Sutter is a responsible player. He is good at cutting down passing lanes, and is a fearless shot blocker. He is a smart defender with good instincts, and is clearly well coached in this aspect of the game, which of course is no surprise.
Offensively Lukas’ game has grown a lot in the bast year. He’s got a good shot and a good release, and we can see this in the 28 goals he scored this season. His hands are decent, but not great. He controls the puck well and plays an effective cycle game, but don’t expect him to show off too many dangles that will get by opposing defencemen. Sutter has good instincts and is a decent passer. However his best attribute, as you’d expect, is his work along the boards. Sutter is great at winning board battles, at working down low on the cycle, and at driving hard to the net when he gets the opportunity. This is where he creates most of his offensive chances and points.
Sutter’s biggest weakness at this point is his skating. He has a very ugly stride. It is short and choppy. He is not overly slow, but we’d classify his top end speed as slightly below average. His first steps, and his acceleration also need work. Sutter is strong and well balanced on his skates however, as he is very difficult to knock off the puck and this helps him in the offensive zone and along the boards.
We believe Lukas has the potential to be an agitating presence, and third line NHLer, who can kill penalties, and play a two way game, even chipping in the odd goal. There is also an outside chance that his offensive game will continue to develop and Lukas could even develop into a second line centre, however we feel the third line is more likely. As far as a comparison to a playing style goes, do we really need to give one here? After all, the kid lives up to the family name, and NHL teams and fans already know the style of play they should expect to see from a Sutter.
… and thats the Last Word.