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Top Canadiens Prospect Lane Hutson Signs Entry-Level Contract

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Montreal CAnadiens lane hutson

There was some very exciting news on Thursday, as the Montreal Canadiens announced they have signed top prospect Lane Hutson to an entry-level contract.

Hutson, 20, played for the Boston University Terriers in the NCAA, producing an impressive 30 goals and 67 assists in just 77 games. This means the defenceman scored 1.26 points per game during his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Why Sign Now?

The signing will allow Hutson to play in one of the final games of the season and consequently, burn a year from his entry-level contract. You may be wondering why the Habs are in a hurry to burn a year off a contract from a player who figures to be a crucial member of the organization throughout the rebuild. In this particular case, it’s a reward for signing the contract early, thus ensuring there’s no risk he will take the same route as former Harvard defenceman Adam Fox.

Fox was originally drafted in the third round by the Calgary Flames, however, he advised the team he was not interested in signing with them, forcing the Flames to trade his rights to the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes were also advised Fox was not interested in playing in Carolina, which once again led to a trade, this time to the New York Rangers, his desired team.

The Habs used the same strategy when they signed Cole Caufield and Sean Farrell from the NCAA.

Where Will He Play?

The ELC was signed after March 8, which means Hutson is not eligible to play for the Laval Rocket, either in the regular season or the playoffs.

Seeing as there are just three games left in the Canadiens’ regular season, the options for Hutson’s debut are rather limited. He will either make his NHL debut against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday or the Detroit Red Wings on Monday or Tuesday.

MUST READ: Canadiens Prospect Lane Hutson’s Impact On Lineup And Team’s Future

Keep in mind he’s coming off a very busy year that included participating in the World Junior Championship, where he was named to the tournament’s All-Star Team. On top of the interruption during the Christmas Break, Hutson logged some of the heaviest minutes in the NCAA, as he was Boston University’s go-to play for every single situation, including special teams. He is also fresh off a disappointing 2-1 loss to the University of Denver at the NCAA’s Frozen Four tournament.

With that in mind, Hutson is unlikely to be thrown to the wolves during his NHL debut. Limited usage is in order in his case.

The goal will be to get him acclimated to the team’s style of play, his teammates, the new playbook, the new coach, the new settings, and, well, every other new factor in play now that he’s a professional hockey player.

To get a better idea of the potential impact Lane Hutson will have on the Montreal Canadiens roster, as well as how players like Juraj Slafkovksy will be better off with Hutson in the lineup, you can read our recent analysis of the elite prospect by clicking here.