Lane Hutson debuts as the 6th ranked U24 Habs player

Lane Hutson's NCAA brilliance translated to more of the same in the NHL. Next season, all eyes will be on the dynamic defenseman.
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

For the month of May, aside from the NHL Draft lottery, there isn’t much going on. So here at A Winning Habit, I’ve decided to rank the 24 best Canadiens under 24 years old. I opted to rank players that are closest to the NHL, so aside from David Reinbacher, there are no 2023 Draftees. 

So, without further ado, let’s go ahead with the 6th best player, in my opinion, Lane Hutson.

Lane Hutson is the Canadiens' most polarizing defenseman in the team's system and the top prospect. Hutson was overlooked through most of the first two rounds of the 2022 NHL Draft, mainly because of his size. But like Cole Caufield, Hutson has silenced pundits at every level, rising to the challenge and dominating.

Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton took a 'chance' on Hutson and all he has done since is flip the NCAA on its side. Hutson plays the game a step ahead of the opposition, and as soon as they bite on one head fake, he sways the other way and leaves them in the dust. Hutson consistently scans and looks to manipulate his opponents to his benefit, making well-placed passes or shooting through layers to beat goaltenders or create havoc.

After two excellent NCAA seasons with the Boston University Terriers that saw him score 48 and 49 points from the blueline respectively, he turned pro. The 5-foot-10 defender played the final two games of the Canadiens season, posting as many points. His second assist came during the final game of the season, which was a shot deflected by Juraj Slafkovsky, which was Slafkovsky's 20th goal and 50th point of the season.

Expectations for Hutson's first full NHL season are quite high and with the way he played to end the 2023-24 campaign, all eyes will be on him. Aside from Mike Matheson, there isn't another defender in the system who can walk the blueline and challenge the opposition like he does. Montreal has long needed a true power play quarterback since Andrei Markov; Matheson has done an admirable job, but Hutson is expected to be the guy for the next 10-12 seasons.

Hutson sits at 6th on the list and all signs point to him climbing up the list before the end of next season swings around.