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Lane Hutson and David Reinbacher: two years to go before they reach the NHL, predicts

During the Canadiens’ last development camp last month, we saw David Reinbacher and Lane Hutson develop a great rapport on the ice. The two young men, who are top prospects for the Canadiens, paired up admirably and found each other on the ice.

It was bound to make fans dream a little – and with good reason.

After all, we all agree that these two guys, along with Logan Mailloux, are the last big pieces (for the time being) that should be added to the defensemen already in Montreal.

There could be others (via trade or Adam Engstrom, for example), but since this summer, the names of Hutson and Reinbacher have been quite polarizing.

Clearly, both men will be part of the game plan for the Habs, who clearly intend to build a big defensive corps for what’s to come.

And chances are the two guys will play together, even.

All this to say that along with Juraj Slafkovsky, Owen Beck and Joshua Roy, the NHL website, via journalist Sean Farrell, has decided to rank both defensemen in the top-5 CH prospects.

Are you surprised to see Reinbacher (2) and Huston (3) surpassed by Slaf?

That said, it’s not my biggest surprise of the piece – although I did expect to see Reinbacher at #1, given that if Slaf had been drafted in 2023, he would have been drafted after Reinbacher.

What surprised me the most was the journalist’s prediction that Reinbacher and Huston should arrive in the NHL in 2025-2026.

We know that in 2023-2024, Reinbacher is expected to return to Switzerland after the Canadiens’ camp. We also know that the NCAA is waiting for Hutson for the next field hockey season.

But I think a lot of people assume that Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton, who aren’t afraid to put their faith in youngsters quickly, will want to get both guys in the game as soon as possible.

In my eyes, it’s possible to believe that Lane Hutson will finish the 23-24 season with a pro contract on his hands. Whether it’s Laval or Montreal (surely Montreal, to burn a year of his entry-level contract), I can see him in Montreal quickly.

If he’s not an NHL regular by October 2024, I think he will be by Christmas 2024.

As for David Reinbacher, we’ll see where he plays in 2024-2025. It’s still early to say, but he can play in Europe, he can play in Laval and he can obviously play in Montreal.

There’s a part of me that doesn’t dislike Sean Farrell’s (the journalist’s) caution in this matter, since a youngster’s career has never been derailed by arriving too late in the NHL – especially for a defenseman. That said, I think the CH will bring them in sooner… even if everything can change in a year.

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