Weight: 170 lbs.
From: Huntington, NY
Team: Red Deer (WHL)
CSB: 28 NA
|The TSN Insider's Forecast: The first reaction of many who see Brandon Sutter at No. 9 is, Say what? This is a prospect, after all, who scored only 20 goals in 71 games and chalked up a mere 54 penalty minutes, which some would say is anything but Sutter-like. But those who think the son of Brent Sutter is riding on the coattails of the family name, well, they obviously don't share the opinion of this scout. "Brandon Sutter has a chance to be the most complete player in this draft," said the talent evaluator who has the 6-foot-3, 170-pounder rated solidly in the top 10. And that scout is not alone. A few others have him as a top 10 possibility, although the projections for this player are all over the map, everything from top 10 to teens to the 20s. The knock is that Sutter possesses limited offensive ability, that he's only going to project out as a third or fourth-line player. But not everyone is convinced of that. Some scouts note that Sutter's greatest attributes are his smarts, his ability to play in any situation, be it the point on the power, penalty killing, taking key faceoffs, you name it. "Understands the game better than anyone in the draft," said another scout. On the issue of offensive potential, Sutter has 17 goals in the first half of the season but hit the wall in the second half and scored only two. "His problem is his strength, or lack of it," a scout said. "That hurts his skating, he wore down so much over the season. He was just worn out. When he gets stronger, and he will, he's going to be a big time player. I don't buy he can't score, I don't buy he can't skate. He just needs to mature." The question seems to be not whether Sutter will play in the NHL, but how good he will be. Some, though, believe what you see is what you get and the offensive limitations are legitimate and that he's better suited to being a top 20, not a top 10; pick.
From NHL Central Scouting: A skilled forward that is opportunistic in the offensive end. Is very smart with the puck. Has a good work ethic and excellent puck-pursuit. Very versatile and used in all situations. Sometimes tires at the end of shift and needs to work on his conditioning. Needs to improve his one-on-one skills.
From ISS: Sutter has great bloodlines. He is coached by his father. Not a flashy player. Works hard at both ends of the rink. Makes simple but effective plays. Improvement in first couple of steps would improve skating. Is heavily relied upon in all situations. Has good size but is light. Is still dominant. With some more physically maturity, he will be able to play at next level. Well-above-average hockey sense.