We continue breaking-down the last 12 months for each of the Washington Capitals prospects with a review and forecast for right winger, Riley Sutter. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page right here.)
Sutter is a 19-year-old right winger who most recently played junior hockey for the Everett Silvertips. The Calgary, Alberta native was drafted by the Capitals in the third round (#93 overall) of the 2018 NHL entry draft. Sutter signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Capitals on September 29, 2018 at $925,000 AAV.
Sutter has played four seasons of junior hockey in the Western Hockey League (WHL), all with the Everett Silvertips. He began his junior hockey career in 2015-16 and played in 31 games, scoring just one goal.
He improved his productivity greatly for the 2016-17 season, playing in 67 games, scoring 20 goals and earning 18 assists. He was even better during the 2017-18 season when he played in 68 games, scoring 25 goals and earning 28 assists. During the 2018 post season, he had 9 goals and 10 assists in 21 post season games.
Sutter was off to a great start for 2018-19 and had 14 goals and 27 assists before being sidelined for the remainder of the regular season with an injury. During his four year career in the WHL, he had 137 points, 60 goals, 137 penalty minutes, and a +38 rating in 204 career games.
Riley Sutter literally has professional hockey in his blood. Sutter comes from an extremely long lineage of accomplished hockey players. Riley is the son of Ron Sutter, a first round draft pick (#4) by the Flyers in 1982. Ron, a right-handed centerman, played a total of 19 seasons in the NHL, including stops with the Flyers, Blues, Nordiques, Islanders, Bruins, Sharks and Flames.
In addition, Riley’s uncles include Darryl Sutter, Duane Sutter, Brent Suter, Rich Sutter, Brian Sutter, all of whom were drafted by NHL teams and endured long careers in the NHL. Extremely impressive, but that’s just the first generation of NHL Sutters.
In addition to the six first-generation Sutters, Riley is a cousin to Brett Sutter, Merrick Sutter, Brandon Sutter, Brody Sutter, Luke Sutter, Shaun Sutter. Brent, son of Darryl Sutter, has spent some time in the NHL. Merrick, son of Brent, is the Senior VP. Of Operations for the Red Deer Rebels in the WHL. Brandon, also a son of Brent, brother of Merrick, was drafted in 2007 by the Carolina Hurricanes, and currently plays for the Vancouver Canucks. Brody, son of Duane, was drafted by the Carolina Huricanes in 2011. Luke, son of Rich, was a 2012 draft pick by the Winnipeg Jets and Shaun, son of Bryan, was drafted by the Flames in 1998. You got all that? That’s a lot of Sutters! Riley was the last of the second-generation to be drafted.
2018-2019 SEASON SUMMARY
Sutter played in 38 regular season games for the Everett Silvertips in the WHL. He had 14 goals and had 27 assists for 41 points overall, was +12, and also had 38 penalty minutes. He was named Silvertips assistant captain for the 2018-19 season. He signed an entry level contract with the Capitals on September 29. Unfortunately, he received a lower body injury in a game on December 29 and missed the remainder of the regular season. He returned in time to play in three playoff games for Everett and earned 1 assist. While his natural position is right wing, he played as center on the Silvertips’ top line.
2018-2019 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following month-by-month breakdown is an aggregation of our monthly prospect reports prepared during the 2018-2019 season. You can find all of our monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.
Like the other Caps draftees of 2018, Sutter was released from Capitals training camp on September 19, in time for the start of the season for his WHL team, the Everett Silvertips, on September 21. Sutter started the season as the center on the top-line for the Silvertips, and remained there for the month of October. On September 29, Sutter signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Capitals (here). That night he would pot two goals and an assist against Swift Current to celebrate his new deal. On October 13, Sutter continued his scoring streak with a pair of goals and an assist in Everett’s 7-2 win over the Kamloops Blazers (here). Sutter finished the month with seven goals and 11 assists in 15 games played for a 1.2 points per game average. Sutter’s seven goals on 46 shots was good enough for a 15.2 shooting percentage. On October 29, Sutter was named to Team Canada for the upcoming CIBC Canada vs. Russia series (here). Players from the OHL, QMJHL and WHL will play a six-game series against the Russian national junior team from November 5-15. More on the series here.
Sutter continues to hold down the center position on the Silvertips’ top-line. He started off the month of November with a goal against Tri-Cities on November 2, but would cool down for the remainder of the month. Sutter registered three goals and nine assists in 12 games played in the month of November. He now has 10 goals (second most in the team) and 21 assists (most on the team) in 27 games played so far this season. He has four power play goals, which is second-most for Everett. Sutter has registered 90 shots on goal (third-most on the team) for a 11.1% shooting percentage on the season.
Sutter was quiet offensively for the first half of December, registering no goals and two assists in the first six games of the month. Sutter would break the slump mid-month scoring a pair of goals against Seattle on December 15. He would also score in the Silvertips final game of the month, giving him three goals and five assists in nine games played in December. For the season, Sutter has 14 goals and 26 assists in 38 games played.
Sutter has been sidelined since sustaining a “lower-body injury” in the second period against Prince George on December 29. He was seen walking with crutches after the injury with a boot on his left foot. He has been listed as “week-to-week”. The latest update from local sources (last week) was that Sutter is still on crutches and “it will be a while, still”. Prior to his injury, Sutter had 14 goals and 27 assists in 38 games played. He had 125 shots for a 11.2% shooting percentage. Sutter signed three-year entry-level contract for an average annual value of $817,500 back on September 29, 2018.
Sutter missed all of February. Sutter has been sidelined since sustaining a “lower-body injury” in the second period against Prince George on December 29. He had been seen walking with crutches after the injury with a boot on his left foot. He has been listed as “week-to-week”. The latest update from local sources (during late February) was that Sutter is still on crutches and “it will be a while, still”.
Sutter missed all of March. Sutter has been sidelined since sustaining a “lower-body injury” in the second period against Prince George on December 29. He had been restricted to wearing the boot on his injured foot and walked around on crutches until March 18 when he was cleared by doctors to no longer need them. On Thursday March 21, he finally was cleared to skate. He was not able to play in either of the first two playoff games against Tri-City but was able to return for the last three playoff games and had one assist. On April 15, he was recalled by the Washington Capitals to play for their AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, but got into no playoff games for them.
This is likely Sutter’s last year in junior hockey as he has already played four seasons at that level. Sutter reported to the Bears at the conclusion of the Silvertips season this spring, participated in warmups during the postseason, but did not see any game action. Most likely, he will play in Hershey next season.
By Diane Doyle