When Garrett Suter was born, he came out wearing a cardinal and white Wisconsin sweater. When he grew up to be a six foot two-hundred pound defenseman, it was only a matter of time before he would be lacing his skates in the Kohl Center for his hometown team. Garrett's Dad Bob played for the Badgers, his uncle Gary played for the Badgers, and most recently, his brother Ryan played for the Badgers. There simply was no way that Garrett would not be a Badger.
After a solid career with the Madison Capitols AAA program in which his dad was his head coach, he officially committed to the University of Wisconsin on a hockey scholarship. Garrett played his senior season of high school with the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) and was looking forward to joining the University of Wisconsin program in the fall of 2005 along with Shane Connelly, Jack Skille, and Tom Gorowsky (Ben Street committed later).
That plan was thrown to the wayside when Suter failed to qualify academically for admission at the University of Wisconsin. Still having three years of junior eligibility, Suter took his game across the border to Salmon Arm of the British Columbia junior hockey league. The stint didn't go as well as he had planned, and he ended up back in the USHL, this time with the Waterloo Black Hawks.
After failing to qualify for the 2005 season, Suter was determined to qualify in 2006. He took his game to Omaha, Nebraska to play for the Lancers (USHL), his fifth city in four seasons. Unfortunately, Suter could not turn it around. In June of 2006, it was announced that Suter once again had failed to qualify for admission to the University of Wisconsin, and most likely would never gain admission.
Understandably, Suter faced much public criticism for his failure to take his studies seriously and wasting an opportunity to get a free education at an institution where his family is held in a legendary type status.
This could have been an opportunity for Garrett Suter to give up on hockey. It could have been an opportunity for him to give up on a college future and work in his dads hockey shop for the rest of his life. Instead, Garrett showed the resiliency that his family is known for and enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, a Division III college in central Wisconsin.
Instead of pouting about his situation and former successes, Garrett Suter took a proactive approach at Stevens Point. Suter was named NCHA Honorable-Mention in both his freshman and Sophomore seasons. Currently in his junior season for the Pointers, Suter is the Team Captain and leading scorer with 17 points in 17 games.
In a recent article written by the Stevens Point Journal, head coach Wil Nichol raved about Suters play, "When he's disciplined and plays within himself and not force things, Garrett is the best (Division III) player in the country and he still has room to grow," said Nichol. High praise for a player who's career seemed to be destined for the local adult leagues.
Suter will be an interesting player to follow as his college career comes to a close at the outset of next season. He certainly has the background and pedigree to excel and get paid to play hockey. The level of pro hockey that he could reach is the only debate. I for one would like to wish Garrett the best in wherever he aspires to take his hockey career.