StaTuesday: Wild's Ryan Suter at 1,000

BY Ryan Lund • October 23, 2018

Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter is kicking off his 14th NHL season with a major milestone.

Suter, 33, will become one of just six active defensemen to reach 1,000 games, joining Zdeno Chara, Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Hamhuis, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith, when the Wild host the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

They'll soon have some company.

Ron Hainsey, Brooks Orpik, Dion Phaneuf, Trevor Daley and Brent Burns are all on pace to reach the milestone this season as well.

Player Draft (Overall, Year) Current Tm GP G A P P/GP
Zdeno Chara 56th, 1996 Bruins 1431 196 434 630 0.44
Jay Bouwmeester 3rd, 2002 Blues 1113 84 315 399 0.36
Dan Hamhuis 12th, 2001 Predators 1037 59 285 344 0.33
Brent Seabrook 14th, 2003 Blackhawks 1012 96 341 437 0.43
Duncan Keith 54th, 2002 Blackhawks 1003 92 456 548 0.55
Ryan Suter 7th, 2003 Wild 999 77 423 500 0.50
Ron Hainsey 13th, 2000 Maple Leafs 996 55 225 280 0.28
Brooks Orpik 18th, 2000 Capitals 990 17 170 187 0.19
Dion Phaneuf 9th, 2003 Kings 989 136 352 488 0.49
Trevor Daley 43rd, 2002 Red Wings 976 87 208 295 0.30
Brent Burns 20th, 2003 Sharks 969 183 390 573 0.59
Marc-Edouard Vlasic 35th, 2005 Sharks 901 64 225 289 0.32
Niklas Kronwall 29th, 2000 Red Wings 880 80 325 405 0.46
Dan Girardi UDFA, 2003 Lightning 872 52 199 251 0.29
Shea Weber 49th, 2003 Canadiens 867 189 312 501 0.58
Braydon Coburn 8th, 2003 Lightning 857 44 163 207 0.24

The 2018-19 season will be another season of milestones for Suter's draft class -- 2003 -- often hailed as one of the best in the draft's 55-year history.

Suter, Phaneuf, Seabrook and Burns were all selected in the first round, while Shea Weber and Dustin Byfuglien, who will reach 1,000 games over the next two seasons barring injury, were later picks.

Wild teammates Eric Staal, Zach Parise and Eric Fehr were also drafted in 2003.

Staal, now in his third season with the Wild, played in his 1,000th game on March 19, 2017, becoming the first member of the class to reach the milestone.

But while some of his contemporaries are starting to slow down, Suter continues to anchor the Wild's blue line despite suffering a serious ankle injury last in March.

He'd been an iron man prior to the injury, appearing in 242 consecutive regular-season games for the Wild, and was coming off a career-high 51-point season.

Suter needed surgery to repair his fibula and talus, a large bone in the ankle. At the time, he was told that the injury would have been career-ending for some athletes.

He's still playing like an iron man despite missing most of training camp and the preseason.

Suter is averaging 25:45 of average ice time, fifth in the league, and leads the Wild at 27.3 shifts per game. He's been chipping in on offense as well, and even showing off a few new tricks.

Suter has two goals and five assists in eight games this season, including a game-tying shorthanded goal in the Wild's 4-3 overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks earlier this month.

It was just the fourth shorthanded goal of Suter's career, and the ninth ever scored by a Wild defenseman.

He picked up point No. 500 a few games later, with a goal in a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars, which will make him just the 51st defenseman ever to reach 500 points and 1,000 games.


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