Sutter: A Hockey Family History – Part 2

In the third round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, the Washington Capitals selected forward Riley Sutter (93rd overall pick). Riley is the son of Ron Sutter, who is one of six brothers that played in the NHL, and who make up one of the most storied families in all of hockey.  In Part 2 of our Sutter family story, NoVa Caps examines the second generation of hockey Sutters, which includes Riley, who is the last of the Sutter line — at least for the second generation. (Part 1 of the history of the Sutter family.)

Children of Brian Sutter

Brian Sutter and his wife, Judy, had two children, Abigail and Shaun. Like his father and uncles, Shaun became interested in hockey at an early age.  He would go on to play for three teams in the Western Hockey League (WHL): the Lethbridge Hurricanes, the Medicine Hat Tigers, and the Calgary Hitmen.  The Calgary Flames drafted Shaun in the fourth round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft with pick #102 overall.

Shaun never did make it to the NHL, primarily playing with the St John Flames, the Flames’ AHL affiliate, and the Johnstown Chiefs, the Flames’ ECHL affiliate, from 2000-2003.  He played two more years with other ECHL teams, before heading over to England in 2005 to play for the British Elite Ice Hockey League. There he played for three seasons with three different teams: Nottingham Panthers, Sheffield Steelers, and Belfast Giants. In 2008-09, he played for the Lausitzer Foxes in a second tier German league and also played a few games with the Alleghe HC in Italy.  That was the end of his playing career.

Shaun became Assistant Coach for the Regina Pats in the WHL in 2009-10.  After that, he became assistant General Manager with the Red Deer Rebels, a position he holds to this day.  His uncle, Brent, is now the Owner/General Manager/Head Coach of Red Deer.  His cousin, Merrick Sutter, is Senior Vice President of Red Deer.

Children of Darryl Sutter

Darryl Sutter and his wife, Wanda, hav three children: Jessica “Jessie”, Brett, and Christopher. Jessie was born in 1985 and graduated from High School in 2003. Brett was born on June 2, 1987.  Like his father and uncles and his older cousin, Shaun, Brett was interested in hockey and played on travel teams.

Christopher was born on March 30, 1993 and was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome.  Hence, many of Darryl’s career moves after his playing days were made with Christopher’s condition in mind.  He resigned as Head Coach of the Blackhawks in order to spend more time with the family, but eventually returned to hockey, and became Head Coach of the San Jose Sharks and later both Head Coach and General Manager of the Calgary Flames.

Brett played for two teams in the Western Hockey League, the Kootenay Ice (from the 2003-04 season through the early part of the 2005-06 season) and the Red Deer Rebels (2005-06 and 2006-07).  The Calgary Flames drafted him in the sixth round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, with pick #179.  He played two seasons with the Flames’ AHL affiliate, the Quad City Flames, in 2007-08 and 2008-09, and made his NHL debut with Calgary on December 23, 2008 and scored a goal.  He played three more games before returning to Quad City.  He played the 2009-10 season primarily with the Flames new AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Head but played in 10 games with Calgary that year. Brett made the Flames out of training camp for the 2010-11 season but was often a healthy scratch, as he played only four of the teams first 16 games.

During November 2010, he was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes.  He played in one game for the Hurricanes that year but primarily spent his time with their AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.  He stayed with the Canes organization through the 2013-14 season, mostly spending time the Charlotte, with occasional callups to Carolina.

Brett signed with the Minnesota Wild as a free agent during July 2014, signing a 1 year 2-way contract with them.  He played in six games with the Wild but mostly spent time with their AHL farm team, the Iowa Wild.

At the trade deadline of 2015, he was sent to the Los Angeles Kings organization where he was sent to their farm team, the Ontario Reign.  The Kings opted not to offer him a contract for 2015-16, but he opted to remain with the Ontario Reign that season anyway, and has been playing with the Reign ever since.  In 60 NHL games, Brett had 2 goals and 8 assists and was not ever able to carve out a full time NHL role.

Darryl’s daughter, Jessica, played a season of volleyball at RDC Queens.

Further Reading of Darryl Sutter’s Family
Guelph Mercury: Darryl Sutter Trades Son Brett to Carolina
NHL: Darryl Sutter Relationship With Son Christopher
Globe and Mail: Darryl Sutter Dealing with Family Separation as Head Coach

Children of Duane Sutter

Duane Sutter had one son, Brody, who was born on September 26, 1991. Brody played junior hockey in the Western Hockey League with two different teams: the Saskatoon Blades and the Lethbridge Hurricanes.  He played with the former for 18 games in 2008-09 but played for the latter for the rest of his junior hockey career, which was through the 2011-12 season.  The Caroline Hurricanes drafted him in Round 7 of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft with pick #193 overall.

Once he was done with junior hockey, Brody played for several years in the Hurricanes farm system, primarily with the Charlotte Checkers, their AHL team, but he also spent much of the 2012-13 season with the Florida Everblades, the Canes’ East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) team.

The Hurricanes called him up for four games during the 2013-14 season.  He made his NHL debut on October 16, 2014 in a game against the New York Rangers on the road where the Hurricanes lost 2–1 in a shootout.  He returned to the Charlotte Checkers for the 2015-16 season but was called up by Carolina at the end of that season and played in 8 games.

After that season, Brody was traded to the Florida Panthers and assigned to play with their AHL affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds.  Injuries limited him to 19 games for the 2016-17 season.  He then signed with the Manitoba Moose for the 2017-18 season.  He never again appeared in the NHL.

His NHL career consisted of the 12 games total with Carolina, where he had not had any goals or assists.  In 2018-19, he played with Sport Vaasa, a team in the Finnish League.  In May 2019, he signed a contract with the Iserlohn Roosters, a team in the Deutsch Elite League (i.e. the German League) where he plans to continue his hockey career.

Children of Brent Sutter

Brent Sutter and his wife Connie have three children, sons Merrick and Brandon, and daughter Brooke.  Merrick was born in 1987. He played hockey but was not the elite player his father and uncles were. He played one game with the Canmore Eagles in 2003-04 in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) and played the 2003-04 season for the same team.  That was the end of his playing career, but he retained interest in hockey.

During the 2008-09 season, he became a Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations on the Red Deer Rebels, a position he holds to this day. His father, Brent, has been the Head Coach and General Manager of the Rebels since April 2012.  Brent had previously held those roles from 1999 to 2007 until leaving to become Head Coach of the New Jersey Devils.

Brandon Sutter was born on February 14, 1989.  He also became involved in hockey and played for the Red Deer Rebels, the team for which his father, Brent, was Head Coach and General Manager. Brandon played in seven games for Red Deer in 2004-05 but played nearly three full seasons for them after that, from 2005-06 through 2007-08.

The Carolina Hurricanes drafted him in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft with pick #11 overall.  They sent him back to his junior team in Red Deer but when his junior season was over, he played in seven games for Carolina’s AHL affiliate team, the Albany River Rats, and then played seven playoff games for them, too.

The following season, 2008-09, Brandon began the season with the Hurricanes.  He scored his first NHL goal on October 23 against Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins.  In the next game on October 25, he collided with Doug Weight of the New York Islanders and got a concussion and missed eight games.

He played in 50 games for the Canes but was sent down to Albany in February to finish out the season with the River Rats.  He began the 2009-10 season with the Albany River Rats and played there for seven games, but was called up to Carolina where he stayed for the remainder of the season. In 72 games, scored 21 goals and had 19 assists for 40 points overall.  He stayed with the Carolina Hurricanes for both the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.  His first year with the Canes turned out to be his best year with them.

On June 22, Brandon was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins along with the Canes 2012 first round pick in exchange for Jordan Staal.  He stayed with the Penguins for three seasons, 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15. His best year with the Penguins was his last one where he scored 21 goals and had 12 assists.

After that season, the Penguins traded Brandon to the Vancouver Canucks in a deal where they got Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening.  He had been with the Canucks since then but had two injury plagued seasons.  In 2015-16, he played only 20 games as he first required sports hernia surgery and then suffered a broken jaw.  In 2018-19, he suffered a separated shoulder and only played in 26 games.  So far in his career he has played a total of 683 games, has scored 135 goals, and had 125 assists and arguably the best player of the second generation of the Sutter family.

Brooke Sutter, Brent’s daughter, did not play hockey but, instead, played volleyball for RDC Queens.  She had also played basketball during her youth but by twelfth grade chose to focus on volleyball.

Story from Lacombe Online on Brent and Merrick Sutter

Children of Rich Sutter

Rich Sutter had a son named Lukas who was born on Oct 4, 1993. Lukas played two games with the Okotoks Oilers in the AJHL during the 2008-09 season.  After that, he played several seasons with the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL, starting in 2009-10, before being traded to the Red Deer Rebels prior to the 2013-14 season.

The Winnipeg Jets drafted Lukas in the second round with pick #39 overall.  This was after a season with Saskatoon where he had scored 28 goals with 31 assists for 59 points overall in 72 games.  However, the 2011-12 was the high point of his tenure with Saskatoon.  His goals dropped to 12 in 2012-13 for Saskatoon and then to 10 in 2013-14 while playing with Red Deer.

Lukas had started well the first three games for Red Deer but ended up blowing out his shoulder in the fourth game. He ended up not signing a contract with the Jets and was back in the NHL Entry Draft in 2014. This time, the New York Islanders drafted him in the seventh round with pick #206 overall.  He played for the Islanders AHL farm team, the Bridgepoint Sound Tigers in 2014-15, but also played with the ECHL affiliate, the Stockton Thunder.  His chronic shoulder injuries hindered his play with the Islanders’ affiliate teams. He never did make it to the NHL.  In 2016-17, he played college hockey with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies which proved to be the end of his hockey career.  His plan was to continue in college to get his arts and sciences degree and then possibly go to law school.

Winnipeg Free Press: Article on Lukas Sutter

Children of Ron Sutter

Ron Sutter, Rich’s twin brother, had a son, Riley, who was born on Oct 25, 1999.  Riley played junior hockey with the Everett Silvertips since the 2015-16 season.  The Washington Capitals drafted him in the third round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft with pick #93 overall.  He already has signed a contract with the Capitals and the plan is that he plays with the Hershey Bears next season.  Caps fans are anxious to see how his career unfolds and hope it plays more like that of his father or his uncles or even his cousin Brandon, rather than of his other cousins.

NoVa Caps: 2019 Prospect Review and Forecast — Riley Sutter
NoVa Caps: 2018 Washington Capitals Prospect Profile: Riley Sutter
NHL: Caps Sign Riley Sutter to Entry Level Contract


The second generation of Sutters have, overall, not had as productive NHL careers, as the first generation.  So far, three members of the second generation have played in the NHL: Brandon (son of Brent), Brett (son of Darryl), and Brody (son of Duane).  The other family members who were drafted by NHL teams but did not make to NHL were: Shaun and Lukas.  Merrick (son of Brent) played hockey but not at the elite level of his father and currently is Assistant General Manager for Red Deer.

By Diane Doyle

About Diane Doyle

Been a Caps fan since November 1975 when attending a game with my then boyfriend and now husband.
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