Lane Hutson has impressed at the Montreal Canadiens development camp and is already looking like a 1st round talent despite being selected 62nd overall.
Lane Hutson was perhaps the most intriguing defenceman in the 2022 NHL Draft, as his explosive skating and exceptional playmaking skills are absolutely off the charts. He plays a game predicated on carrying the puck up the ice with incredible speed; making him highly effective for both zone exits and zone entries in open ice. The main concern of some scouts is his small stature (5’8, 159 lbs), as it is tough for defencemen of that size to defend at the NHL level, especially in the playoffs.
The Canadiens saw him fall in the draft and when he was available at the 62nd pick, they jumped at the opportunity to draft him. Hutson’s incredible mix of elite hockey IQ and speed made him too good of a player to ignore that point, and he’s on a mission to prove all his doubters wrong it seems.
Hutson immediately set the tone at the Montreal Canadiens development camp with his trademark high-tempo intensity and exceptional skating, making him the most eye-catching prospect at camp along with Juraj Slafkovsky. He was the most visually striking player on the ice for every drill; showing his top-level talent when it comes to skating, puck possession and Hockey IQ during every single drill. When the teams would break off for scrimmages or game-like drills; Hutson didn’t shy away from anyone; even going toe-to-toe with Slafkovsky and coming out on top in one-on-one battles.
— TVA Sports (@TVASports) July 13, 2022
This isn’t the first time the Canadiens pounced on a top talent that fell due to size concerns, and the Montreal Canadiens scouting staff was thrilled to have him available at the 62nd pick. In fact, they’ve made a habit out of it lately with Cole Caufield in 2019 and Sean Farrell in 2020. The Montreal Canadiens already have some towering defenders coming up the pipeline like Kaiden Guhle Arber Xhekaj and Justin Barron, allowing them to take a chance on a player they feel has sky-high potential.
“Lane Hutson most people had higher. We believe he was the USNDT’s best D. He’s not a fully developed player, but he has a big brain. His hockey sense is interesting. He’s got a chip on his shoulder. You have to go after those types of d Dmen because they’re hard to find,” said Nick Bobrov after the 2022 NHL Draft.
Ultimately, the raw skills and skating ability make Hutson a great gamble for the Canadiens and he looks to have all the tools to be a very effective and electric player; but patience will be key in his case. He’ll have all the time to develop at his pace in the NCAA next season for Boston University and expand his game to be even more effective against bigger and stronger competition.
— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) July 13, 2022