It's Official - Lane Hutson Is Free To Sign With The Canadiens

Hutson now has a decision to make, sign with the Habs. or continue for another season at BU.
2024 Frozen Four
2024 Frozen Four / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

Montreal Canadiens crowned jewel - Lane Hutson can sign his entry-level contract and join the team, likely against the Detroit Red Wings.

His NCAA team, the Boston University Terriers, fell short in overtime against the University of Denver squad. The game was a tight affair, just 1-1 after 60 minutes of play. Luke Tuch opened the scoring on a shorthanded tally, then Tristan Lemyre answered back at 15:21 of the second period. 

Just before the 10-minute mark of the sudden death overtime period Tristan Broz ended the number two-ranked Terriers' impressive season. With that, Hutson’s college career has come to an end. A potential battle between Jacob Fowler’s Boston College Eagles and Hutson’s Terriers would have been a sell-out, but Hutson on the Bell Centre ice is sure to do the same. 

Hutson tried many times to pull his Terriers ahead, but in a rare feat, he was kept off the scoresheet. Anyhow, the focus now shifts to Lane and how soon he will make his way across the border to play. With six defensemen healthy and Kaiden Guhle likely to return soon, a decision will need to be made. 

Jayden Struble and Jordan Harris have been great together, but individually Harris has been ahead of Struble. With that, I think Struble may get sent to Laval to help the Rocket. This will open up a spot for Hutson, although it will be a rotating position. 

Either Johnathan Kovacevic or Justin Barron will likely sit out. Such a move would mean the Canadiens have more left than right-shot defenders. But that shouldn’t matter, so long as the best five are dressed and Hutson can slot in on the third pair, in a sheltered role. 

It will be interesting to see how he is deployed and to finally get a glimpse of Hutson’s game in the Habs fold. He wore No. 81 during Canadiens training camp and his college hockey number is occupied by a certain Juraj Slafkovsky. So it will be equally interesting to see what number he wears. 

Mike Matheson may see Hutson across from him on the blueline during the powerplay. I don’t see there being much more of a shake-up than that. But the Canadiens have been transparent about their excitement for Hutson to start his pro career, so one would be led to believe he will get some time to find his rhythm. 

It’s disappointing that he won’t be competing for a national title, but if anybody was ready to jump to the next level, it was Hutson.