He is not a play making center. His unique ability to not pass to his teammates allows him to barely have any primary assists or even assists in general for that matter. And for someone who does this, you'd expect them to take a lot of shots. Although he has bad shot generation. Some of you might feel it is because Canucks were a bad team last year. But he was still playing the same game in Pittsburgh which is a good team. Jordan Staal played 6 season with the Pens and went to the Finals twice and won the Cup once. Penguins then traded Sutter for Staal in June of 2012. Sutter and the Pens made the playoffs but never came close to becoming successful in their quest for the Cup. Sutter was then traded in July of 2015 for Bonino. The Pens won two cups in a row after this. Nick Bonino played one season with the Canucks which was in 14-15, where they made the playoffs, unlike the season prior. Since getting rid of Bonino for Sutter, Canucks have placed 2nd & 3rd last in the league.
Stats, Analysis & Ice Time:
He's never had more than 19 assists to prove this. As a matter of fact he has never had more than 40 pts. The former 1st round pick has played 9 seasons so is it safe to say he is a flop? In my opinion, he is. Some might say, "cut him some slack, he was a third liner" so maybe a change of scenery could help his value. But how true is this? He averaged 2nd line ice time last year with above average 3rd line ice time in the years prior-- this is partly because he plays on the PK.
Here's a look at how Brandon Sutter, Jordan Staal, and Nick Bonino compare to the average 2nd, 3rd, and 4th line NHL center through their Hero Chart comparisons:
Cap Hit Comparables:
He's overpaid and would make a great salary dump. He makes 4.4 million dollars-- a raise given to him by Vancouver for who knows what reason (previosly made 3.3 million). Seemed to be a trend with older canuck contracts like Sbisa, Dorsett, Hutton, and up front paying Erikson 6 million. Good news though is that they seem to have improved by not signing gagner to 6 million or not overpaying Del Zotto or Nilsson and especially not Burmistrov or Gaunce. Bozak makes 4.2 which is probably not the greatest comparison because Bozak is offensive and Sutter is supposed to be defensive. Although I would still compare and say Bozak is better than Sutter because for a defensive guy, Sutter has had horrible shot suppression numbers and seems to only have goal scoring and face off win percentage as his upside. Bozak's best season was in 13-14 where he had a 69 pts pace and he's cheaper than Sutter. Kucherov is on a 4.7 million contract with a season best of 85 pts. Anisimov has a 4.5 million contract with a 57 pts pace as his best season. Nick Bonino makes 4.1 million with a 52 pts pace season best. Sutter's best season for points pace would have got him 45 pts which was his second year in Carolina.