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Lane Hutson: his growth plates are still open

From the moment he was drafted by the Habs, Lane Hutson has been my favorite prospect in the Montreal nursery. The defenseman has absurd offensive instincts, and clearly has the potential to be the CH’s future power-play quarterback.

And if I liked him at the time of his selection, I don’t need to tell you that I like him even more a year later, when he’s just taken a bite out of the NCAA in his first season on the circuit.

One of the things that often comes up when we talk about him is the fact that he’s not a huge guy. We’re talking about a guy who measured five feet eight inches last year, which is pretty small for an NHL player.

The good news, however, is that the defenseman’s bone age is lower than his true age. In other words, he can still grow, even though he’s now 19.

And today, Hutson said he had confirmation that his growth plates are still open. So he could still gain an inch or two.

Last year, his university team listed his height at five feet, 10 inches, which was never the case according to the main interested party, who nevertheless claims to have gained an inch in the last year. According to him, his height as displayed by Boston University was intended to scare off other teams (he obviously said this in jest).

But beyond his size, Hutson is really quite a field hockey player. At the development camp this morning, he was a cut above the rest, looking like a magician on the ice.

Not necessarily surprising, but reassuring.

Hutson, who has been compared to Cale Makar by teammate (and potential future blue-line partner) David Reinbacher, continues to impress every time he jumps on the ice. I still think we have to be a little cautious before seeing him as a Makar-type guy, but clearly, the potential to see him become an elite offensive defenseman in the NHL exists. Clearly, the young man has what it takes to make fans dream.

He’s not there yet, that said, and I think another season in the NCAA (as well as some time in Laval) will do him good, but I think we’ll see him in Montreal no later than 2024-25, whether on a regular basis or just for a brief audition.

And if he gains another inch or two between now and his NHL debut, it certainly won’t hurt. We certainly hope so.

In gusto

– Mitchell Stephens remains with the CH organization.

– Speaking of Lane Hutson.

– Not to be missed.

– New contract for Olivier Rodrigue.

– This will be a big moment for the Jays.

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