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
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What other traits does Cole Hutson bring to his game?

Given his ability to produce points, mainly via assists like many defensemen, it’s clear that Cole Hutson’s a strong passer. One reason is that he’s never caught watching the puck but always looking to see where his open teammate is lurking. That kind of awareness gives him not only excellent vision but also the vibe that he boasts a sound hockey IQ. 

And he can make passes at any length, whether they’re short dishes to a teammate in the offensive zone, or longer passes to help move the puck up the ice. Hutson is yet another one of those players who can drive a puck down the rink, draw two or three opponents to within inches of his stick, then get rid of the puck with less than a fraction of a second before an opponent has a chance to disrupt the play. It’s that impeccable timing that leads to scoring chances and, often, goals. 

We haven’t even talked about his ability to bank pass pucks, but he’s no stranger to them. If Hutson’s taking the puck down the ice, it’s not uncommon to see him bank the puck off the boards to a teammate or, at times, himself. Once again, perfect timing is key here, as is precision, and in the end, Hutson’s creating highlight-reel plays as a blueliner. 

Hutson isn’t as known for his shooting, but it’s also something opponents can’t underestimate. When he decides to try and find twine and he catches the other team puck watching, there’s a good chance the puck’s getting past an opposing goaltender or at least coming back for a rebound. 

Hutson may not boast anything close to ideal size just yet, but he uses his small stature to his advantage, catching opponents off-guard with fearless play when driving the puck that can involve him taking on players much bigger and, ultimately, crashing the net once he moves them out of the way or forces them to miss.