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BSH 2022 Community Draft Board, No 28: Lane Hutson

More fun defensemen, please.

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COLLEGE HOCKEY: DEC 02 U.S. Under-18 Team at Wisconsin Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hey, would you look at that, we’ve got another fun, offensively gifted but undersized defenseman coming out of the NTDP!

Lane Hutson put together a really strong season with the NTDP this season, finding very good scoring results, but even more impressively, continuing to improve and pick up steam as the season went on. He’s been a quick riser in a number of draft rankings between the mid-season and final rankings, and he brings, if nothing else, a really interesting skillset and profile. And while there’s some work that needs to go into polishing out his game, if he hits in the way that he has the potential to, he might well be an absolute steal for a team in the back half of this first round.

2021-22 Season


Stats: 10 G, 53 A in 60 GP (USDP) and 6 G, 26 A in 27 GP (USHL)

Pre-Draft Rankings

No. 25 (NA skaters) by NHL Central Scouting

No. 40 by McKenzie/TSN

No. NR by Dobber Prospects (April)

No. 19 by Wheeler/The Athletic

What’s there to like?

We’ll get into some more technical notes in a second here, but right off the hop, we should say, Hutson is just a ton of fun to watch. His skillset is really dynamic and the things he’s able to do with the puck are really special, and he keeps finding new ways to impress with his creativity, and his game is a real treat to tune in for.

But as far as what makes him effective as a player, what gives him that intriguing skills package, well, there’s a whole lot going for him. He generates a ton in the way of both dangerous scoring chances and passes which set up more dangerous scoring chances, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise, that this process is working for him, seeing how much he was able to contribute offensively for his team this season. He’s a confident player with creativity in droves, and while sometimes that can lead to him trying things and having them blowing up on him, more often we just see it working as an asset to him, as he works to drive offense and find soft areas of the ice and get to dangerous scoring areas. He’s deceptive, quite slippery, and this helps him there as well. Even away from the puck in the offensive zone, he’s always moving and scanning for options, he plays with great pace, and he’s a near constant threat because of that. He makes use of a light, smooth stride, excellent curls and cuts, and a quick and accurate wrist shot, and it all comes together in a really interesting and effective way.

And while we tend to see undersized, offensively minded defensemen struggling on the defensive side of their game at this age, that isn’t as big of an issue for Hutson as one might think. There’s still a good bit of polishing that needs to go into this side, but he does already have a really strong foundation in place. Despite his size, he doesn’t back down from pressure. He’s able to evade well (that slipperiness we talked about earlier again) and has a real aptitude for getting to pucks and getting them out of danger (read: moving up-ice in transition). And when he can’t avoid taking some contact, he does well to brace for it. His awareness is very strong, and he’s only getting better at using good body positioning on the defensive side. Things are only going to get more difficult for him as he makes the jump to the college level next season, but he’s shown a real adaptability and potential for growth in the work he was able to from the beginning to end of this season.

What’s not to like?

The main knock on Hutson comes around his size. For some, looking at his vitals and seeing him listed at 5’8” is enough to hit a full stop and list him as “do not draft” on their mental boards. But there’s a slightly more nuanced side to that as well. We know that undersized players like a Johnny Gaudreau or a Brayden Point can overcome some of the disadvantages their size puts them at with their hands or their speed and become very successful contributors at the NHL level, but some feel that Hutson isn’t dynamic enough in either of those areas to overcome the size challenges to the same degree, and that leaves them with some pause. Obviously from the swings in where he’s ranked on these draft boards, that isn’t a universally held belief, but it’s one that’s certainly floating around out there, so we’re keeping it on our radar.

How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?

This is an interesting one. On the one hand, the Flyers could stand to add more in the way of defense to their pipeline, that’s an area of weakness for them at the moment, and Hutson fills that positional need while also giving them a boost in the dynamic puck moving ability that they’re also in need of. On the other hand, the Flyers do already have a couple of undersized, skilled defensemen either about to break into the NHL full-time or waiting in the wings (Cam York and Emil Andrae, hello), so one might argue that adding Hutson would be redundant. That said, the game is trending in the way that players of his ilk are more and more valuable, so it’s hard to argue that he wouldn’t be, at the very least, an intriguing get for the Flyers.

Could the Flyers actually get him?

There isn’t much in the way of consensus as to where Hutson will and should be taken in this draft, but whichever way things swing, he’s set to be taken somewhere in between the Flyers first and third round picks, so unless they do some other bit of wheeling and dealing, he’ll likely be out of their reach.

We’ll make one addition to the poll:

David Goyette - C/LW - Sudbury Wolves (OHL) - 66 GP, 33 G, 40 A, 73 PTS

“He’s an impressive athlete. He’s a beautiful, effortless skater with a flowing stride who catches and handles pucks with ease at speed. He tries (and executes) difficult plays offensively with his hands by finessing pucks under sticks, through feet and into space for himself. He stays on pucks inside the offensive zone by keeping his feet moving to get to 50/50 pucks first or get up and under sticks and push through board battles to extend sequences.” - Scott Wheeler, the Athletic


Who should be no. 29 on the BSH 2022 Draft Board?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    Tristan Luneau
    (5 votes)
  • 25%
    Luca Del Bel Belluz
    (2 votes)
  • 12%
    Owen Beck
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    David Goyette
    (0 votes)
8 votes total Vote Now

​​1. Shane Wright — C, Kingston (OHL)

2. Juraj Slafkovský — LW, TPS (Liiga)

3. Logan Cooley — C, NTDP (USDP/USHL)

4. Simon Nemec — D, HK Nitra (Slovakia)

5. Matthew Savoie — C, Winnipeg (OHL)

6. David Jiricek — D, HC Plzeň (Czechia)

7. Joakim Kemell — W, JYP (Liiga)

8. Conor Geekie — C, Winnipeg (OHL)

9. Frank Nazar — C, NTDP (USDP/USHL)

T-10. Brad Lambert — C, JYP/Pelicans (Liiga)

T-10. Cutter Gauthier — C, NTDP (USDP/USHL)

12. Ivan Miroshnichenko — LW, Omskie Krylia (VHL)

13. Jonathan Lekkerimaki — RW, Djurgårdens IF (Ligga)

14. Danila Yurov — RW, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)

15. Isaac Howard — LW, NTDP (USDP/USHL)

16. Pavel Mintyukov — D, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

17. Jimmy Snuggerud — RW, US NTDP (USDP/USHL)

18. Rutger McGroarty — LW, US NTDP (USDP/USHL)

19. Marco Kasper — C, Rogle BK (SHL)

20. Owen Pickering — D, Swift Current (WHL)

21. Seamus Casey — D, NTDP (USDP/USHL)

22. Denton Mateychuk — D, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)

23. Jack Hughes — C, Northeastern (NCAA)

24. Filip Mesar - RW, HK Poprad (Slovakia)

25. Kevin Korchinski — D, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)

26. Liam Ohgren — D, Djurgårdens IF J20 (J20 Nationell)

27. Nathan Gaucher — C, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)

28. Lane Hutson — D, USNTDP (USDP/USHL)

29. ???

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