2009-10: Lukas Sutter skated for the USA in the 2009 U17 Five Nations Tournament in Germany in the summer before re-injuring his shoulder and missing nearly four months after undergoing surgery. He skated for the Lethridge Y’s Men Hurricanes in Alberta midget hockey and made his WHL debut with Saskatoon. He was scoreless with 2 penalty minutes in four games for Team USA. In 18 games with the Hurricanes, including five playoff contests, he scored 8 goals with 7 assists and had 20 penalty minutes. Selected in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft by Saskatoon, he had 1 assist and was minus-one with 8 penalty minutes in seven regular season games for the Blades. Saskatoon, which finished second in the East Division with the WHL’s third-best record, advanced to the second round of the WHL playoffs. In five playoff games Sutter was minus-one with no points and 2 penalty minutes.
2010-11: Sutter skated in 71 of 72 games in his first full WHL season with the Blades. Playing in primarily a fourth-line role on a Saskatoon that had a league-high 115 points, Sutter scored 4 goals with 15 assists and was plus-one. He led the Blades with 179 penalty minutes. Saskatoon reached the second round of the playoffs, falling to eventual WHL champion Kootenay. In 10 playoff games Sutter had an even plus-minus with no points and 6 penalty minutes.
2011-12: Sutter went from a support role to being the Blades’ third-leading scorer and again led Saskatoon in penalty minutes. In 70 games he scored 28 goals with 31 assists and was plus-15 with 165 penalty minutes. The Blades finished third in the East Division and were swept by Medicine Hat in a first round playoff series. Sutter had 2 assists and was minus-three with 14 penalty minutes in the playoffs. He was invited to the NHL Draft Combine and was ranked 39th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft.
2012-13: An assistant captain and one of four players to skate in all 72 games for Saskatoon, Sutter played a two-way, physical forward role for the Blades in his third WHL season. On a team with high end offensive players Matej Stransky (Dallas) and Josh Nichols (NYR), Sutter scored 13 goals with 11 assists and was -8 while leading the Blades with 168 penalty minutes. Saskatoon finished first in the East Division but was swept by Medicine Hat in a first round playoff series. Sutter scored 2 goals and was -4 with 6 penalty minutes in four playoff games. The Blades participated in the Memorial Cup as the host team; handing eventual champion Halifax its only loss before being eliminated two games later. Sutter had 2 assists and was -3 with 10 penalty minutes in four Memorial Cup games.
2013-14: Sutter attended training camp with Winnipeg before being sent back to the WHL for an overage season with Red Deer. Hampered by a shoulder injury most of the season before eventually getting season-ending surgery in February, he skated in 45 games with the Rebels and scored 10 goals with 13 assists; finishing minus-6 with 74 penalty minutes. Five of his 10 goals were scored on the power play. Not signed to a contract by the Jets, Sutter re-entered the 2014 NHL Draft and was selected by the Islanders in the seventh round (200th overall).
2014-15: Sutter attended training camp with the Islanders before being assigned to AHL affiliate Bridgeport. He skated in 17 AHL games with the Sound Tigers, spending most of the year with the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder. Sutter had 1 assist and was -1 with 44 penalty minutes with Bridgeport. He scored 2 goals with 8 assists and was -8 with 156 penalty minutes in 40 games for Stockton. The Thunder missed the ECHL playoffs, finishing last in the Pacific Division. Sutter was not tendered a qualifying offer by the Islanders, becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Another in the long line of Sutters that has passed through the NHL, Sutter has some scoring ability in his game but his calling card for the most part has been his physical play. In his first three seasons of junior hockey he topped the 165 penalty minute mark in every season before appearing in just 45 games due to injury in his overage year last season. He scored 28 goals in his second season with Saskatchewan, playing on a Blades team with Matej Stransky (DAL) and Josh Nicholls (TOR) but slipped to 13 goals the following season. He has the size and demeanor to be a power forward but his skating and skill level will be an issues in pro hockey.
Sutter will skate for the Florida Panthers rookie team in the upcoming tournament in September but is not signed to a contract with any team for the 2015-16 season at this point. Health-wise his shoulder injury issues appear to be behind him health-wise but his talent level and tactical play appear limited. His determination and combativeness suggest he can play a lower line level but he is equally likely to spend his career at the minor pro level.