Montreal Canadiens prospect Lane Hutson is having a lot of fun at the 2024 World Junior Championship, which is taking place in Gothenburg Sweden.
Hutson is participating in his second World Junior Championship for Team USA, however, unlike last year he’s expected to be one of the most important players in the American lineup.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Hutson struggled last year as an 18-year-old. He scored two goals and four assists in nine games with limited usage, a strong introduction to the biggest hockey stage for under-20 players.
This year he should be playing top-pairing minutes, as well as important shifts during the powerplay and in overtime.
That was the case on Friday, as Hutson secured a pre-tournament win over the Americans by stealing the puck from fellow Montreal Canadiens prospect Owen Beck.
Hutson quickly corralled the puck and drove the net, picking the top glove-side corner as the area in which he wanted to send his shot. His perfect shot put an end to the intense game between Team USA and Team Canada, resulting in a 6-5 win for the Americans.
You could argue Beck could have done a better job, and you’d be right. You could also suggest the Canadian defencemen did a very poor job shutting down Hutson’s shooting lane, and you’d also be right. Regardless, Hutson took advantage of the situation, which is exactly what you want to see from a top prospect.
Hutson recorded a goal and an assist in the game, adding to his two assists in the previous warm-up game against Sweden.
Lane Hutson SEASON!
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) December 23, 2023
It wasn’t his only excellent play of the night.
Hutson also opened the scoring by sending forward Quinn Finley on a breakaway in the first period. He didn’t just produce an elite stretch pass, he also evaded his Canadian coverage with the greatest of ease in his own zone.
This tournament is setting up to be a perfect opportunity for Hutson to put the rest of the hockey community on notice that he means business on the biggest stage in the world.