Buffalo, NY – – One wonders what it would be like to be so tall that you could see what’s happening in a room before anybody else. One such hockey prospect is Keenan Suthers from the NTDP. This Macomb, Michigan native is a 98 so he’s going to be ready this June when he hopes to hear his name called by some NHL club in Buffalo.
When I asked him what it was like to be the shortest guy on the team? He chuckled and said, “It’s a struggle. There’s a lot of good, tall players here. It’s a good age group.”
At 6-7, 220 this left shot plays a tough left wing. And let’s face it at the junior hockey level he’s a big guy to try and hold off. It’s a nightmarish assignment for any defenseman to undertake.
Last week at the All American Prospects game in Buffalo, NY, he has one of 42 players who hope to be selected in the 2016 NHL Draft. He got a chance to play for Derek Plante’s team and you did notice him on the ice.
“There’s a lot of people watching,”he said acknowledging the 150 scouts who were in attendance. “I’ll just go out there and do what I can. Get on the forecheck, get in front of the net play the body and get off some shots.”
“Sudzy” as he’s known by his teammates is a Western Michigan University commit who shined in the U17 Five Nations Tournament in Russia. He tied for a team best two goals in 4 games and helped Team USA secure a second place finish.
“Our Team USA team looks good. We just had some preseason games at home. We have our first game in Youngstown which should be good (NTDP won that game 6-4),” Suthers stated. “We’re all getting ready for the U18. We’re trying to bring home another gold medal.”
He has a hockey bloodlines. His grandfather, Tom, signed with the New York Rangers before being deployed to defend his country in WWII.
His father was an athlete as well, Tom, played pro basketball in France, Germany and Holland.
He’s a smart kid. When asked about the talent level in the USHL he gave an interesting answer.
“There are so many 98’s and 97’s who are really young and doing well. Last year when I came in it seemed like there were a few 20-year-old players who were really good. There’s a lot of young talent in that league and it’s very successful.”
Suthers was focused on Buffalo for more than a few reasons.
“I’ll get to know the city pretty good this weekend and when I come back it will be pretty exciting,” he added.
I’ll be tracking his progress this season.
photo, All American Prospects Game, Buffalo, NY.