Canadiens Ink Lane Hutson To Entry-Level Deal

2024 Beanpot Tournament - Championship
2024 Beanpot Tournament - Championship / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

After Montreal Canadiens prospect Lane Hutson’s Boston University Terriers lost in the Frozen Four semi-finals on Thursday afternoon, Hutson’s future was unknown. 

The Terriers lost 3-2 in overtime against the University of Denver Pioneers. Meaning Hutson could choose whether he would return for another season of college hockey or turn pro. Well, according to the Canadiens Twitter account, both sides have come to a decision. 

Kent Hughes signed the Canadiens brightest prospect to a three-year entry-level contract on Friday afternoon. This move means Hutson will join the team as soon as they make it to Detroit. As for when he will make his debut, that will all depend on whether he gets to skate with the team before their game against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night. 

According to Eric Engels, the Habs beat reporter for Sportsnet, it doesn’t seem like that Hutson will play against the Senators. With that said, it appears they will give him a chance to skate with the team and get to watch the team live before he debuts. Hutson will reportedly meet with the team on Monday when they travel to Detroit to face the Red Wings. 

Hughes was transparent about his wishes to get Hutson in for some games this season. Given visa and travel-related things, Hutson can stay in the United States to handle his affairs. So, Hutson will get to play against the Red Wings on Monday, then possibly in the season finale at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night. 

Jay Pandolfo, his head coach at BU was full of praise after the Terriers loss on Thursday night. Hughes and Jeff Gorton knew what they were getting when they drafted Hutson and his last two seasons in the NCAA only further cemented his capabilities. Pandolfo spoke about his desire to win and never-ending passion to continue improving. 

Hutson joins the Habs after what was a dominant NCAA career. He posted back-to-back point-per-game seasons with 48 and 49 points respectively. According to Boston University Hockey Stats, Hutson is the sole Terriers defender to record 60+ career points at the end of his sophomore season. 

The wait is finally over, Hutson is here to stay, and will debut on Monday night. I personally can't wait to see how Hutson transitions to the NHL and how he impacts the offence. It certainly won't be a big sample size, but more like a cliffhanger, leaving us all wanting more and shifting our excitement to next season.

After the work that Juraj Slafkovsky underwent between years one and two, and the growth in Cole Caufield's game, it's easy to be excited. Martin St. Louis also has a knack for getting the best out of his players, and given his smaller stature, there isn't much to worry about for Hutson. Players with heart and a desire to get better will thrive under St. Louis.