Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sooner or later you'll get a Sutter

Jets grab Lukas, nephew of Kings' coach Darryl

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PITTSBURGH -- Every good recipe has a key ingredient.

Adding a Sutter to the mix has worked for years in hockey, including only a few weeks ago when the L.A. Kings and mid-season coaching addition Darryl Sutter won the Stanley Cup.

The Winnipeg Jets are going to give this bloodlines method a try. They added Darryl's nephew Lukas on Saturday with their second-round choice in the NHL entry draft at Consol Energy Center.

"We really like the way he plays," Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said. "He provides a lot of sandpaper for us. In the prospect category, he's someone that's very determined to play. He's someone in the interview process and the way he plays, we're real excited that we were able to get him."

Sutter, 18, has completed two WHL seasons with the Saskatoon Blades, improving his production to 28 goals and 59 points in 70 games in the past season.

He fought less and took on a role that included responsibilities against opposition stars.

"You want to continue to grow as a player and I think my role is going to continue to expand," Sutter said. "The physical game will probably tone back a little this year. My third year in the league as a 19-year-old, you're obviously expected to produce a little more, to be a little more dependable, so that's what I'm going to have to do."

Sutter, former NHLer Rich's son, compared himself to cousin Brandon, who was traded this weekend to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I think I play a little bit similar to Brandon, but a little more sandpaper to my game, a little bit tougher," Lukas said.

"It's something where you have to play that way to be a successful player nowadays, the way L.A. played down the stretch.. Everyone was physical and paid the price."

Sutter came to the draft for Friday's first round and admitted it caused him stress.

"It was tough," he said. "I thought there might be an outside chance somebody would take a flyer on me.

"It was something we hoped would happen, but it didn't happen. It was a long night. But I'm happy that it happened so quickly today. Last night I prepared to be a spectator, prepared to come and just enjoy it. Today was quick and I hoped it would happen early."

Sutter was chosen with the 39th overall pick, Saturday's ninth pick in Round 2.

The occasion also brought a rare sight -- a Sutter a bit wobbly.

Rich Sutter appeared to be near tears talking about his son.

"It means a lot," he said. "I think probably for us, that would be a great question for Luke's sisters and mom. To see the excitement on them, it was real exciting."

When did Rich know his son might have the right stuff?

"The biggest thing is his passion," he said. "He's a very passionate kid. To be around his uncles and his dad, not a lot has to be said. He's been taught a lot along the way. The biggest thing is I really believe in my heart if you want something bad enough and you stay grounded, good things will happen to those kinds of people. He's done a good job at that."

Lukas said a few weeks ago at the scouting combine that being a Sutter hockey player obliged him to play no particular style. It's simply ingrained.

"I grew up around the game and I don't think there's anything else I'd rather be doing."


Hockey clan glad Lukas in Winnipeg

DOES it matter to the Sutter family that Lukas was chosen by a Canadian team (the Jets, 39th overall, on Saturday)?

Rich Sutter: "It does to a degree. For sure it does. Really, there's good people in all organizations. That's a good thing our hockey world is blessed with. In this instance, with the Winnipeg people, Mr. Chipman right now down to the management team, there's a lot of very good people there. This is pretty exciting."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 24, 2012 B3

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