Lane Hutson's College Regular Season Ends, But How Soon Can He Join Montreal Canadiens?

UVM's goalie, Gabe Carriere makes a blocker save on Boston University's Lane Hutson during the
UVM's goalie, Gabe Carriere makes a blocker save on Boston University's Lane Hutson during the / AL FREY/for the Free Press / USA TODAY

The Montreal Canadiens have 17 games left on their regular season schedule, but we know there will be zero playoff games played by the team this season.

That leaves fewer reasons to watch each game down the stretch but there are a few highlights to keep an eye out for as the regular season winds down. One of the biggest games to look forward to is the debut of Canadiens prospect Lane Hutson.

While the Canadiens regular season has about a month left in it, the team's prospects play in different leagues around the world and have different schedules. Hutson, for example, is a prospect all Canadiens fans have kept an eye on this season, and his regular season ended last weekend.

Of course he scored two points, both assists, in that game and completed the regular season with 12 goals and 43 points in 32 games for Boston University. He is tied with Zeev Buium and Sean Casey as the highest scoring defensemen in college hockey this season, though Hutson has played less games so his 1.34 points per game is tops among college defensemen.

But now that his regular season is over, how soon will his season go on and how quickly can he join the Canadiens lineup?

Well, there are different scenarios, but the short answer is, not very soon.

Hutson's first playoff game will take place on Saturday, March 16th in the Hockey East conference playoffs. It is a quarterfinal game and Boston University will be heavily favored, but even if they lose and get knocked out of the conference playoffs, their season will not be over.

As of today, Boston University is ranked second in the overall college hockey rankings. After the conference playoffs are complete, the top 16 teams head to the national playoffs. If Hutson's squad loses their first conference playoff game they could move a little bit back of second in the overall rankings, but they are guaranteed a spot in the national playoffs.

Those 16 teams will play in four separate brackets on the weekend of March 28-31. If Boston University wins their bracket, they will move on to the Frozen Four which is the national semi-finals on April 11th and the national champion will be crowned on April 13th.

The Canadiens play their final two regular season games against the Detroit Red Wings on April 15th and 16th. So, even if Hutson goes all the way to the Frozen Four, he could still play two NHL games this season. If his team is upset early in the intial regional bracket (or round of 16 if you will) his season could end as soon as March 28th.

In this case, Hutson could play all nine Canadiens games in the month of April. So, basically there are two scenarios left for Hutson and that is his team loses early and he can join the team in the final days of March, or they make a run to the national semi-finals and he parachutes in for two NHL games to close out the season.