What’s an NHL draft without someone from the Sutter family?
Falling into our 68th slot is Everett Silvertips winger Riley Sutter.
Known for his two-way play, Sutter is a bit of safe pick in the sense that he isn’t a dynamic player with skill but just makes this happen on the ice in all three zones. This isn’t to say that he isn’t skilled, as the centre does have some intriguing tools at his disposal.
As we rapidly approach players that could go in the second round, Riley Sutter lands in the 68th spot for our consolidated rankings.
- Age/Birthdate: 17.89/ October 25, 1999
- Birthplace:Calgary, AB, CAN
- Frame:6-foot-2/ 201 lbs
- Draft Year Team:Everett Silvertips(WHL)
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The 125th selection in the 2014 WHL Bantam draft, Sutter had a fairly consistent season in terms of production. He had a 10 points outburst during games 35-37 and finished the year with career highs in goals, assists, and points. He followed up with 19 points in 21 playoff games before falling in the WHL finals to the Swift Current Broncos. HIs GF% and GFREL% are encouraging to see and are reinforced by the lack of 5v5 goals against in the event tracker.
Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)
Sutter saw his role increase as the year went on and into the playoffs as the coaching staff clearly leaned on him for his two-way play. His 5v5 points per estimated 60 minutes of ice time really stands out with his most common line-mates in Connor Dewar and Garrett Pilon leading the way. With all seven of his most common linemates seeing an increase in GF% when playing with Sutter.
All good signs to see from a player of Sutter’s stature and his offensive outburst in the playoffs is another feather in his cap.
With a total of 379 matches, 18.5% of statistically comparable players to Sutter went onto becoming NHL regulars. He saw a bit of a dip from last year as he didn’t exactly blow the doors down offensively during the regular season. His closest comparable players have generally been bottom six players that can help in two-way play and on the penalty kill, which is likely the ceiling for Sutter anyways.
There were some suggestions to start the year that Sutter was in the conversation as a first-round pick, which I think was always a reach. Sutter lacks any high-end upside, offensive game, or skating but just does everything well. His shot is the most noteworthy skill to his play in the offensive zone and he is good battler in the corners. He doesn’t over power plays but smartly engages to try and take the puck away.
Sutter is a smart player and it stands out in his play – good with engagements, containment, angles, and defensive play.
Sutter lacks explosive acceleration and speed but gets around well enough with his powerful stride – he doesn’t get left behind but can get beat from a stopped position but he’s usually read the play well enough to not get beat clean.
I do like Sutter as a defensive player who does a bunch of things well. His production in the playoffs was a good sign that when given more of a chance, he can produce. His GF% and GFREL% stand out because of how he much he moved the needle for himself and for any player he was placed with. Yes, the Silvertips went all the way to the WHL finals, but Sutter was a big part of that.
Sutter played right wing throughout last season but spent the entire season at centre this year.
It is important to remember that Sutter did have Carter Hart in the net behind him.
The public consolidated rankings have firmly in the middle parts of the third round but it’s fair to believe that Sutter could go sooner as a team prioritizes getting a player, albeit maybe a low ceiling, with their selection. He has the size, base of skills, dependable play and underlying data to suggest that Sutter is one of the safest picks outside of the first round. Not too mention, teams will love the last name. You would likely be leaving some upside on the table when taking Sutter though.
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From Future Considerations (excerpt):
A big forward with a familiar name, the son of Ron, he isn’t an elite skater. He uses a long, powerful stride to compensate for what he lacks in footspeed. His acceleration needs work – in fact, he look lethargic in transition – but he makes up for that right now with keen anticipation. Good anticipation in his game. Strong on his pins, though. He plays a versatile game, with skill and power components. Listed as a winger, he’s shown he can play center and win faceoffs. He owns strong sense on the ice and is a focal player, with or without the puck. He shows good drive to the hard areas of the ice and also exhibits flashes of finesse