ST. PAUL, Minn. – Family seems to matter plenty for the Carolina Hurricanes.
They picked up two players with hockey in their genes Saturday during Day 2 of the NHL draft, selecting the son of Edmonton Oilers executive Kevin Lowe in the third round and yet another Sutter four rounds later.
“We have more than one Staal, and more than one Sutter, and now we have Kevin Lowe’s son,” Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said. “So, we do have a lot of hockey people in our organization.”
Carolina selected defenceman Keegan Lowe with the 73rd overall selection, then spent the 193rd pick on centre Brody Sutter—the son of former NHL player Duane Sutter and the younger cousin of two players in the organization: Carolina forward Brandon Sutter and minor league forward Brett Sutter.
“I think having good bloodlines always helps, but these are players that, when the scouting staff does their list and we get to certain rounds where they fall on our list, they’re selected appropriately,” Rutherford said.
Keegan Lowe was at the RBC Center pulling for his father’s team in 2006 when Carolina claimed the club’s only Stanley Cup title by beating Edmonton in a Game 7.
“Obviously, I was cheering for the Oilers—I can’t lie about that—back in ’06, but what I noticed was how big hockey actually is down in Raleigh,” Lowe said. “I didn’t know that before I went down there. It opened my eyes a bit to hockey in the warmer places down on the East Coast.”
Sutter hopes to become the ninth member of his family to reach the NHL. The 19-year-old centre had five goals and nine assists with Lethbridge of the Western Hockey League, and was ranked No. 142 among North American skaters by Central Scouting.
Rutherford said he would like to have Brody Sutter skating with the team’s AHL affiliate in Charlotte, where Brett finished last season.
Lowe’s father has been the Oilers’ president of hockey operations since 2008. He was a seven-time all-star defenceman with Edmonton and then spent eight years as the club’s general manager.
The younger Lowe went to Carolina with the 73rd pick, after finishing with two goals and 22 assists in 71 games with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League. He said he and Kevin Lowe discussed the possibility of being drafted by the Oilers, but Keegan Lowe decided he’d rather make a name for himself somewhere else.
“We talked about it, if I would like going there, because obviously, if I didn’t want to, it would be up to me,” Keegan Lowe said. “He was just trying to treat me like any other player. He wasn’t going to hate me if I wasn’t going to go with them … but I’m just happy to be picked by Carolina.”