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Canadiens Practice: Hutson and St-Louis Discuss NHL Debut

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montreal canadiens defenceman Lane hutson room

Top Montreal Canadiens prospect Lane Hutson met with the media on Monday to discuss his NHL debut, which will take place against the Detroit Red Wings.

Hutson, 20, signed his entry-level contract on Thursday following Boston University’s elimination from the Frozen Four.

Simply put, even if he has yet to step on the ice in an official NHL game, Hutson is one of the most important players in the organization. But Canadiens head coach Martin St-Louis was quick to point to the most important aspect of playing hockey.

“I want him to have fun,” said St-Louis. “I want him to show us what he can do, but not try to be perfect. He needs to get a feel for the game. He’s a young player, and I’m sure he’s excited. The comfort will come as he plays more often. I know what type of player he is. He played with my eldest son for half a season. I know what to expect.”

Fans who have not had a chance to watch Hutson play will be pleased to know that he’s the type of hockey player who does not hesitate to have fun during most shifts.

MUST READ: What To Expect From Top Montreal Canadiens Prospect Lane Hutson

“You want to give him some playing time so that he can understand the new settings, and how things work in the NHL,” said t-Louis. “It’s a good opportunity for Hutson. He’s a guy who has a lot of jump, and a lot of deception in his feet and hands. A tremendous amount of skill. We’ll give him a couple of games here, get his feet wet, and he’ll get to know some of the guys.”

Insulating Factors

St-Louis decided to pair Hutson with the defenceman who has acted as a mentor for the vast majority of the young players on the blueline, David Savard.

Savard is known as an excellent communicator, to the point that St-Louis considers him a player-coach.

“Savy is another coach, essentially,” he said “He can teach, help, and calm nerves.”

Hutson will have up to 20 family and friends watching his NHL debut, though they won’t have to travel far, seeing as Hutson was born in Michigan.

“I feel good, I’m excited,” said Hutson. “The guys here have been great. I am ready to get going. It’s pretty surreal, honestly. Just being here, and being with this group, it’s very cool. I’m very excited. These guys have been great to me. They’ve been super inviting. It has helped me get comfortable.”

As for expectations, Hutson simply wants to keep improving his skill set, including his defensive coverage. But he’s not ready to suggest his offensive game is perfect, either.

“You don’t know what to expect until you get out there, said Hutson. “But I have been working on my defence in the last two years. This is the next level, everyone can make plays. I’m just very excited.”

The only expectation Hutson has will mesh perfectly with the message sent by St-Louis earlier in the day.

“Have fun,” he said. “It’s still a game. I love playing hockey, and it’s always going to be fun.”