Skip to content
In 2024, I want to see Lane Hutson play (a lot of) games in Montreal

Lane Hutson is without doubt the Habs’ most exciting prospect at the moment. The diminutive defenseman, who has been turning heads in the NCAA for the past year and a half, has the potential to energize the Habs’ blue line and, eventually, become the much-sought-after quarterback for the Tricolore’s power play.

Comparisons with Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes are dangerous… but even if he becomes a Torey Krug, it will already be excellent.

At the end of this WJC, in which he represents the USA, Hutson will return to the NCAA to finish his season with Boston University. He’ll still have a chance to dominate with the Terriers, who have a big line-up and could make some noise at the end-of-season Frozen Four tournament.

However, it’s what happens after the defenseman’s NCAA season ends that will be interesting. It’s almost certain that the prospect will sign his first pro contract following his team’s elimination (as Jordan Harris and Sean Farrell did in the last two years in Montreal), but the big question is where he’ll play next.

And in my opinion, the best possibility is obvious: in 2024, I want to see Lane Hutson play as many NHL games as possible.

Obviously, he has to finish his season in the NCAA, but after that, I’m pretty confident the club will give him a trial period in Montreal to finish the season. He could then go play in Laval if the Rocket are in the playoffs and the Habs aren’t, but I don’t see a scenario in which he won’t be donning a Habs uniform by the end of the campaign.

The same goes for David Reinbacher, although I’d be less surprised if he only plays in Laval this season.

At the start of the 2024-25 season, however, the debate could be different: Hutson may have to fight for his place in the big club. But between you and me, I’d prefer him to play as much as possible in the NHL, regardless of whether he has a slightly tougher camp.

The AHL wouldn’t be the worst idea either (especially if he plays with a guy like David Reinbacher), but Hutson already plays against men in the NCAA and excels at that level. In my opinion, there’s not much left for him to learn in Laval, and he’ll have to get used to the speed of the NHL to excel.

And since his coaches are already praising his improvement on the defensive end, I want to see him work on that in the NHL. It won’t always be pretty, far from it, but it’s by making mistakes on the Bettman circuit that he’ll become a better NHL player.

There’s likely to be congestion at the blue line, but Hutson is the Tricolore’s best blue-line prospect (along with David Reinbacher). In the Austrian’s case, playing in Laval will help him adapt to North American ice, but for Hutson, it’s an adaptation he won’t have to make.

And with Juraj Slafkovský, the Habs have shown that they’re not afraid to let their top prospects get into the thick of the action in order to progress. Martin St-Louis is capable of managing these guys (especially since Jay Pandolfo is convinced MSL will love managing Hutson), and even if the club is going to be talking about the playoffs even more in a year’s time, developing Hutson has to be a priority for the club’s future.

And in the worst-case scenario, he can be a power-play specialist. That’s something.

For all these reasons, I want to see Hutson playing in the NHL as often as possible in 2024. There will be tough times ahead, but if the Tricolore wants to turn its protégé into an excellent future defenseman, I think this is the best way to do it.


To make room for Hutson, it will be more important than ever for Kent Hughes to start trading defensemen to decongest his blue line.

Jordan Harris and David Savard are often mentioned, and they’re probably names to keep an eye on. Because soon, the future will become the present for the Habs, and we’ll have to make room for Hutson and Reinbacher.

More Content