Aidan Sutter, a Kamloops minor hockey product, got his first taste of junior hockey as an affiliate player with the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks. He played his first full season in the WHL with the Everett Silvertips in 2019-20 where he currently plays. At the start of the 2020-21 season, when the WHL shut down, Sutter joined the Kamloops Storm until he could return to the Silvertips that season.
The KIJHL spoke with Sutter, who is having his best offensive season as a 20-year-old. He is a point away from matching the 14 he produced last season in 54 games. Along with wanting to win a WHL championship this season with the Silvertips, Sutter is looking to have a strong season to sign a professional contract. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
KIJHL: How do you feel you are playing so far?
AS: I think I have been playing well and it helps a lot when I have got a good team around me. My billet family really helps me out a lot at home, making me feel comfortable. I think I’ve had a great start to the season.
KIJHL: What do you like that you are doing that is leading to team success?
AS: I think I’ve been moving my feet a lot more from the D-zone and taking more chances in the offensive zone. My defensive zone game has gotten a little bit better since last year and that has helped me have a good start.
KIJHL: How do you like to play to be effective?
AS: We have Olen Zellweger (second round pick in 2021 by the Anaheim Ducks), he’s our big offensive guy so I just like to play a solid two-way game.
KIJHL: Offensively, you are producing at nearly a point-per-game, what has helped you produce the way you are?
AS: I think definitely being older and having maturity and being in the league for four years, I knew what to expect and having confidence helps me bring almost a point per game. Definitely the guys around me and I can make little plays and obviously luck is a part of it. Last year was a big stepping stone even though I only had 14 points. I just watched the other guys and learned how to move and where to look. That has helped a lot.
KIJHL: During your off-season, what did you focus on to play the way you want?
AS: The biggest thing I focused on was my strength and gaining a little bit of weight. On the ice, I focused on my skating and skills a lot. That has helped me gain confidence this year and take more risks and a couple of steps in my game.
KIJHL: How did your time with the Storm in the KIJHL help you continue to improve in the WHL?
AS: I played two games, but just the skills and everything the Storm had to offer and their practices, kept it game-like. The KIJHL is a rough league as guys like to hit. It kept my competitiveness up and being able to stay on the ice with those guys for five or six months that we were out really helped me stay on top of my game, in top shape. I think it was awesome for me to prepare for the coming seasons that I was with the Silvertips.