The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

Sutter has arrived

Just got back from River Rats practice, where I had a chance to sit down with the team's newest member, Carolina Hurricanes first-rounder Brandon Sutter.

Thought there'd be more of a media presence, given Sutter's pedigree and draft status, but I was it. Can't say I'm surprised. Hockey never has gotten its due respect in this market.

The 11th overall pick in last summer's draft, Sutter, 19, skated for the first time with new teammates since his three-year entry-level contract was formally announced late this morning, while the son of New Jersey Devils head coach Brent Sutter was already on the ice.

"It's great to be here," Sutter said. "My junior team didn't do so well so it's nice to get back into it. I've been off for 10 days, so it was nice to get the first practice over with and go from there."

Sutter's deal will pay him $787,500 at the NHL level and $65,000 in the AHL. He also received a $262,500 signing bonus, and was immediately assigned to Albany.

"We're excited about signing Brandon," Carolina GM Jim Rutherford was quoted in a team press release. "We look forward to his continued development, and watching him work his way toward playing with the Hurricanes."

Sutter arrived at the rink just in time for the 10 a.m. practice, with his luggage still sitting in the hallway outside the dressing room. He skated at right wing on a line with Mike Angelidis at center and another newcomer, Ben Cottreau, on the left.

"Because of who his dad is, he's been taught the right way how to play," Rowe said. "He'll bring a lot of solid, two-way hockey. We're not gonna expect a whole lot of offense from him, though I think he'll be able to chip in. We're just going to start him out and see what he can do, just like anybody else."

The Rats play Friday in Syracuse and Sunday at Portland, where Rowe confirmed that Sutter will make his pro debut. Check tomorrow's paper, on-line or in print, for the full story.

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