Canadiens 2024 NHL Draft Profile 1.0 breaks down one nifty blueliner

An undersized but ultra-intriguing blueliner could end up being the Canadiens pick at 26 overall, and one who can score like a forward.
U18 Five Nations Tournament
U18 Five Nations Tournament / Michael Miller/ISI Photos/GettyImages
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What is the most intriguing aspect of Cole Hutson’s game?

You only need to look at Cole Hutson’s numbers to know he’s a game-changing blueliner who some may dub an “offensive defenseman.” One reason for Hutson’s outstanding game is that his skating is more than just on point. When I say that, I mean he’s a player who will quickly turn and take the puck all the way up ice with little regard for who is trying to disrupt his path. 

He’s one of those players who’s basically saying, “Get out of my way, I’m making a big play, and there’s nothing you can do about it,” and such play often serves him well. There are times when Hutson will call his own number across the length of the rink, not stopping until he gets a shot on net and the occasional goal. 

It takes confidence to consistently pull off plays like this, and if he’s skating through traffic, you know he’s got something else: Incredible edgework. There are times when the puck leaves his stick, and it looks like he’s lost it completely, only to regain possession of it with ease and keep moving down the ice. 

Hutson is the type of player who will weave around opponents and force them to puck watch in the process as they’re caught overthinking on how to at least slow him down. Not only is he a slick skater with sensational edgework, but his overall stickhandling is at an “off the charts” level, and it’s why he looks like a forward out there half the time. 

Oh, and you don’t often see defensemen taking odd-man-rushes down the ice, but Hutson’s an outlier, and he’s not afraid to make himself part of a two-on-one rush. Once again, it’s because Hutson knows there’s a strong likelihood he will outskate everyone.