Every year there’s that one player in training camp that surprises everybody and makes the team over more obvious choices. This year Brett Sutter is that player for the Carolina Hurricanes.
After spending the past five seasons in the AHL and with two different organizations, Sutter went into camp looking to earn a spot with the Canes.
It didn’t seem likely that would happen with other, younger players higher on the depth chart than the 26-year-old, but Sutter was able to change previous believes.
Sutter made it through three camp cuts, reaching it to the final stage of training camp, competing with Jeremy Welsh for the fourth-line center role.
Sutter not only won the spot, but also forced the Hurricanes to trade Welsh because the team did not want to pay him $1 million to play with the Checkers.
This is the first time Sutter has won a spot out of training camp with the Hurricanes, but has played 37 games in the NHL in his career.
A fourth-line role may not be the most prestigious on the team, but it’s an important role that every team needs. Sutter will be responsible for bringing depth to the penalty kill and supplying some surprise offense during even-strength play.
Sutter has never been a prolific scorer in the AHL, but did put up career highs last year with 19 goals, 29 assists and 48 points. Offensive contribution won’t be the Canada native’s main prerogative, but any offense added will be a sure welcome.
A full-year role hasn’t been guaranteed to Sutter, but after spending half a decade in the AHL, Sutter will know how important this chance is.