Lane Hutson Announced As Hobey Baker Finalist

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

Montreal Canadiens 2022 second-round NHL Draft prospect Lane Hutson has been announced as one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award.

Hutson has followed up his dominant freshman season with an impressive sophomore campaign. The Terriers have been dominant and thanks to Hutson on the Blueline and Macklin Celebrini among others they have been fantastic. Funny enough, Celebrini also has his name in the candidate hat as the top player in college hockey for the 2023-24 season.

The 5 foot 10 left-shot defenseman has proven to everybody with his point production in back-to-back seasons that he is an offensive stud. But his defensive play at the World Junior Championships and throughout this season, his defensive game has grown in leaps and bounds. Canadiens vice president of hockey operations vouched for Hutson, stating that his defensive play is a lot better than many have let on.

Hutson has learned to defend using a quick, smart defensive stick and elite three-way mobility in the corners, around the net and when defending his blueline. Skating is the strength of his game and nobody will dispute that, but his vision and urgency to make the right play 100% of the time is what makes him so special. The Hobey Baker finalists are all very talented prospects and Hutson has done everything to assert himself into the conversation, perhaps as one of the most likely options to win it.

Hutson has four fewer points this season in four fewer games and there is a fair bet that he matches, at the very least, his totals from last year. But even if he doesn't, his defensive zone growth and understanding of how to handle the rush and keep the opposition to the outside will help him acclimate to the professional game. It will certainly be faster, with stronger and more skilled players, but Hutson buying into defending and developing a strong transition game will be helpful in the NHL.

The forwards who are already there will definitely benefit from his quick, heads-up pock movement and his vision from the opposing blueline in. It's unlikely that he will play on the top defence pair right away, he will likely play sheltered minutes. But when he does get his chance to play with Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Juraj Slafkovsky and/or Kirby Dach, I think there will be some fast-paced plays to be made.

Hutson is looking to join Caufield by winning the Hobey Baker Award and joining the Canadiens soon after.