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 about Cole Hutson’s defense?

Throughout most of this article, I’ve been talking about Cole Hutson so often that I’ve used the terms ‘blueliner’ and ‘defenseman’ excessively just to remind myself that I’m not writing a draft profile piece about a forward. Something about Hutson that stands out defensively is that he’s more physical than you may think, and as a fearless player, he will land body checks to try and at least throw off the timing of a sequence when his team doesn’t have the puck. 

He’s someone who will challenge opposing forwards trying to get down low on the ice, he doesn’t shy away from contact, and he will contribute defensively, so he’s by no means a pure offensive-defenseman. 

What makes Cole Hutson so intriguing to the Candiens?

The video from NHL Draft Pros that I embedded earlier has Hutson listed as a top-20 pick, and it wouldn’t surprise me if someone tried to take him long before the Habs pick again at No. 26. But suppose Kent Hughes drafted someone like Cole Eiserman - one of Hutson’s favorite teammates - fifth-overall, and Hutson dropped to No. 26. It shouldn’t take much hesitation for Hughes to snag Hutson, who again already has family ties in the organization. 

Sure, along with his brother, plus David Reinbacher, Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris, and Arber Xhekaj, the Canadiens already have a blue line full of players who have bright futures, and for that, there could be a contingent of fans who would rather see Kent Hughes focus primarily on forwards. Hughes may, but a player of Hutson’s caliber should be well on the radar as there's a good chance a player like him will, in time, complete what could be one of the NHL’s best rotations from 2026-onward should he wind up in Montreal’s system.

(Statistics powered by Elite Prospects)