Lane Hutson is a fan of Ivan Demidov

When the top prospect on your hockey team is excited about the prospect that will move ahead of him, it might be time to get excited.
2024 NHL Awards Red Carpet
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The torch for the Montreal Canadiens' top prospect looks like it will be passed down from Lane Hutson to Ivan Demidov.

Hutson is likely to play out the entire season with the Montreal Canadiens, which will see him shift from prospect to full-time NHL player. With that, there is little doubt about who will take over that top spot. Demidov might have been able to steal the torch from Hutson but we will never know, since one is in Russia and the other in Montreal.

In my opinion, aside from Joshua Roy, who is close to NHL ready and a pair of defenders - Logan Mailloux and David Reinbacher, nobody is close to Demidov. Michael Hage is in the mix also, likely in the top three of the Canadiens group of prospects. But back to Demidov, who will play out his 2024-25 season in the KHL, with hopes of playing in Montreal to start the 2025-26 season.

Hutson likes what he's seen from Demidov

Hutson has been the most dynamic prospect in the Canadiens pool since he was drafted. Juraj Slafkovsky was ahead of him, simply because of potential and where he was drafted. But the fact that he has watched Demidov's tape and came away impressed, gets all the glimpses into the future flowing in the mind.

For a club that has starved for offence, adding Demidov into the mix brings another level of dynamism to the top power play. Not only that, though, it also makes the Canadiens' top-six forward group much stronger. Hutson is a special hockey player with an impressive IQ, and to think that a player he is impressed by will join him soon enough in Montreal is a huge reason for optimism.

The power play already has a quarterback - Hutson, a one-timer option from both sides - Cole Caufield and Juraj Slafkovsky. Then Nick Suzuki sort of operates in between making outlet passes and being a connector, while threatening as a shooting option. Demidov can sort of be a rover, in front of the net or basically in and around the goal line.

I'm obviously not a power play coach, that is way above my pay grade; so predicting the alignment and who will slot where is merely a prediction on my part.

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