How Good Is Lane Hutson?

BROSSARD, QC - JULY 12: Look on Montreal Canadiens defenceman prospect Lane Hutson (85) during the Montreal Canadiens Development Camp on July 12, 2022, at Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Overview

The NHL draft in Montreal was one of the most exciting events in hockey this year, with twists and turns at every corner. The Canadiens threw a curveball by passing up on Shane Wright to draft Juraj Slafkovsky instead. But let’s dive a little further into the draft to take a look at the 62nd overall pick, Lane Hutson.

The left-shot defenseman Lane Hutson is an explosive offensive defenseman. He is very agile and can perform dekes at top speed. It’s not often you find defensemen going end to end, even in amateur leagues, but this kid does it. By simply watching some of his highlights you’ll find out how slick he is with the puck.

The consensus going into the draft was that Lane Hutson would be going somewhere in between picks 25 and 70. Despite how incredible Lane is, teams are scared off by how small he is. You have to wonder how a guy that’s 5’8″ and 159 lbs will do at the NHL level, although it’s believed that Hutson still has some growing to do. With concerns about Hutson’s size aside, I believe the Canadiens have got themselves a gem in Lane Hutson. Don’t forget about defensive play, too. Hutson is more than capable in his end, using his quick stick to his advantage.

Lane Hutson has the most PPG by a defenceman in USNTDP history with 1.05 PPG, beating guys like Cam York and Adam Fox. With the USNTDP, he put up 63 points including 10 goals in only 60 games. His draft day comparables included Paul Coffey, Quinn Hughes, and Ryan Ellis. Lane Hutson was 2nd in pull-ups among prospects at the NHL scouting combine.

Playstyle

Enough with numbers, though. Let’s talk about playstyle. Hutson defends well for his size, using a quick stick and shifty playstyle to steal the puck as opposed to bodying guys off the puck. Interestingly enough, Lane Hutson compared himself to Patrick Kane. He plays a similar offensive style to Kane, with his quick hands, high-end hockey sense, and explosiveness.

You can see exactly what I mean by watching the clips above (VIA TSA Scouting Journal on YouTube).

Projection

All in all, this kid has got what it takes to be a star at the NHL level. This was a boom or bust pick from the Canadiens at 62nd overall, a fantastic gamble in my opinion. My projection for Lane Hutson is something to the skill level of Quinn Hughes, but with the playstyle of Cale Makar. I’m excited for Hutson to be a Hab, but we could be waiting a while, as he is committed to the NCAA for the 2023-24 season already. It could be 3 years before we see him even make his debut, but it’ll be very worth the wait.

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