The Sutter Legacy Continues

The New York Islanders history of employing the Sutter legacy continued this year in Philadelphia to include the 4th member of the family to be a part of the Islanders organization. As the 7th and final round of the draft was winding down, the Islanders used their final pick, 200th overall to select Red Deer Rebels center Lukas Sutter. Sutter is the son of Rich, who was the 10th overall pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1982. In addition, Lukas comes from the famous NHL Sutter bloodline which includes uncles Brent, Brian, Darryl, Duane and Ron. Uncles Brent (12 seasons), Duane (8 seasons) and Ron (1 season) have all donned the Islander blue and orange in the past. Lukas would be the 4th memeber of the family to suit up for the Islanders should that come to fruition. 

At 20 years old, Lukas isn't unfamiliar with the NHL draft. He was previously chosen in the 2nd round, 39th overall in the 2012 NHL draft by the Winnipeg Jets. At the time of his selection, Lukas was seen as a bottom 6 type of grinder that also has a scoring touch above that of typical bottom 6 forwards. His ceiling was said to have been, and still is a 2nd line center were the stars to align correctly. 

After two years of development, Winnipeg General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff made the determination that Sutter's development had hit a bit of a plateau and wasn't going in the direction that Winnipeg had originally anticipated. This resulted in Sutter not getting offered a contract and he was ultimately allowed to re-enter the draft this year. Although he fell far from his original 39th overall selection, Garth Snow and the rest of the Islanders brass thought that Sutter was worth the gamble of using their final pick on. At worst, like many other 7th round selections, he does not pan out into an NHL caliber player. However, if he can regain form and realize the potential that formerly had him chosen in the second round, this could be a steal for the Islanders.

In an ironic twist, this is not the first time that Winnipeg and the Isles have been in a situation like this. Just last year, the Islanders could not come to a contract agreement with their 5th round, 127th overall pick from the 2011 draft, Spokane defenseman Brenden Kichton. The Islanders allowed Kichton to re-enter last year's draft and he was ultimately selected by Winnipeg in the 7th round, 190th overall. In his first year with the Winnipeg organization, Kichton spent the year with their AHL affiliate, the St. Johns Ice Caps and made it all the way to the Calder Cup final before eventually losing to the Texas Stars. If Sutter were to earn a spot with Bridgeport this year, the two second go around draft picks will have essentially swapped spots.

In any event, having a Sutter in the pipeline is never a bad thing and the Islanders have a proud history of them already etched into their past. If Lukas does eventually make it into the Isles lineup, it will be a pleasant flashback for all of those who were lucky enough to live through the dynasty years.

Bryan Curran
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