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Canadiens Prospect Lane Hutson Excels At Every Level



Canadiens prospect Lane Hutson 111

Montreal Canadiens prospect Lane Hutson is one of the most talented prospects in hockey.

Whether it was his dominant rookie season in the NCAA or his recent play at the 2023 World Championship, Hutson has managed to make an impact at every level in his hockey career.

He scored one of the nicest goals of the tournament on Wednesday, an end-to-end rush that gave the United States a 3-1 lead over Austria.

Talent Shines

Like the majority of hockey fans, Team USA head coach David Quinn was quite impressed by Hutson’s play.

“The thing I like about him is I think he learns quickly about how he has to adapt his game to another level,” said Quinn. “He’s a coachable kid. He works hard. He’s a great teammate.”

And yet, despite Hutson overcoming every single challenge sent his way, there’s still a significant amount of doubt regarding his eventual ascension to the NHL.

He’s too short.

He’s too skinny.

He’s simply taking advantage of weak opponents.

It’s a familiar refrain for Canadiens fans, who heard the exact same criticism regarding Cole Caufield’s NHL potential. For the record, Caufield quickly became one of the best 5v5 goal-scorers in the NHL.

It turns out that he wasn’t simply playing against weak opponents, facing an easy schedule, or taking advantage of his heavy powerplay use.

Much like Caufield, Hutson hasn’t just shut down the recent criticism by treading water in the USHL, NCAA, and on the international stage. He’s gone above and beyond, removing any shadow of a doubt as to his impressive development.

But in a sport like hockey, where many will quickly overlook a player if he’s not over six feet tall, it’s not enough to silence those who have an archaic view of what it takes to win in the NHL.

Brass Tacks

The same reasoning behind the criticism of Hutson, which is born solely from his diminutive size, is why he fell to the Canadiens in the first place. From a talent standpoint, Hutson deserved to be a first-round pick.

And it’s the same reason he will continue to be doubted until he earns an NHL job and dominates his opponents.

For a player like Hutson, it’s yet another challenge to overcome.

But if history serves as a guideline, it’s a challenge Hutson can conquer with aplomb.

Sure, you could argue playing against a team like Austria is much easier than facing Canada, but we must remember Hutson was facing much older players. Players with a wealth of experience. Players that could have overpowered him rather easily.

And yet, it didn’t happen.

Because despite needing to work on some facets of his game, Hutson is quickly becoming one of the most exciting defencemen in hockey.

Or rather, Hutson has been one of the most exciting defencemen in hockey for a while now, he just hasn’t had the opportunity to prove it at every level.

MUST READ: Draft Experts Discuss Lane Hutson’s Strengths And Weaknesses

Yes, he has to get stronger before he makes his NHL debut. That’s par for the course when discussing any defensive prospect.

But once he gets his chance in the NHL it would be foolish to bet against him, because Lane Hutson epitomizes talent.

And in the long run, talent is the most important factor in hockey, regardless of which league is being discussed.

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So, if it turns out that he really is too small to play defense in the NHL , just put him on a forward line, then let him take the point on the power play. Problem solved.

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