Seeing as the Montreal Canadiens own a plethora of exciting prospects, you’d assume a weekly prospect wrap-up would focus on various players rather than the few that are exceeding all expectations.
But despite the play of players such as Vinzenz Rohrer, Cedrick Guindon, Sean Farrell, Riley Kidney, and Joshua Roy, we’d be remiss if we didn’t once again discuss the play of two particular prospects, the two most exciting 18-year-old players in the burgeoning Canadiens prospect pool.
Always More Hutson
Yes, the last prospect wrap-up also focused on Lane Hutson, but for good reason.
As it stands the 18-year-old defenceman isn’t just enjoying a solid year with the Boston University Terriers, he’s in the midst of one of the best seasons in rookie defenceman NCAA history.
Fresh off a two-goal performance against Jake Evans’ alma mater, Notre Dame, Hutson has already eclipsed Cale Makar’s freshman goal production with UMass-Amherst back in 2017-18.
Second goal of the night for Lane!
Deuxième but de la nuit pour Lane!
— BU Men's Hockey (@TerrierHockey) November 24, 2022
In just 12 games with the Terriers, Hutson has scored an impressive six goals and eight assists, placing him above a point-per-game pace.
His production is even more astonishing when you consider he’s only receiving second pairing duties with the Terriers, as well as second unit power play time.
Hutson did, however, play on the Terriers’ top pairing and No.1 power play unit in a recent exhibition against the U.S. National Under-18 squad, which once again led to a great goal that put his mobility and offensive prowess on full display.
…then Lane tied the game with a great individual effort!
— BU Men's Hockey (@TerrierHockey) November 26, 2022
Hutson is just 12 games into his NCAA career, and things can change in hurry, but he’s quickly becoming one of the most promising Canadiens prospects in franchise history.
We’ll keep a close eye on his progress throughout the year, but it’s safe to say he’s started his collegiate career on the best foot possible.
Where It’s At
Owen Beck was held off the scoresheet in the Mississauga Steelheads’ difficult 4-0 loss at the hands of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, which, by all accounts, was an incredibly frustrating game for the Canadiens prospect.
But it did allow us to see a different side of the prospect, a much more intense side. A side that led to the second-round pick beating the tar out of Ethan Montroy in a dominant fight.
For the record, Beck was responding to a dirty hit, and thus should not be judged too harshly for his reaction.
Other than his Arber Xhekaj-like fight, Beck maintained his impressive production rate, earning five goals and two assists in his last five games, pushing his season totals to 15 goals and 11 assists in 19 games.
✅ Good Morning
✅ Good Afternoon
✅ Good Night!
— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) November 13, 2022
When discussing the players that have played well enough to be at the front of the line in the event of a call-up from the Laval Rocket, names like Anthony Richard, Xavier Simoneau, and Justin Barron tend to quickly surface.
But lately, sniper Jesse Ylonen has caught fire in the AHL, and he’s not just contributing to the offence with his NHL-calibre shot, though that’s certainly a crucial factor to keep in mind when evaluating prospects.
Ylonen has 4 goals and 11 assists in 19 games with the Rocket this year, including a three-assist performance against the Belleville Senators on Friday.
The evolution of his game beyond simply being a player that can find the back of the net when given ample time and space is a very encouraging development, one that could lead to a promotion to the NHL sooner than later.