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CMJ report: Lane Hutson is more than just an attacking defender

As you’re no doubt aware by now, the USA won the gold medal at the World Junior Championship. They beat Sweden, the tournament hosts.

The young Americans didn’t just win a gold medal, they won free burritos for a year. Lucky them!

If I’d been in that lineup, I’d have taken advantage of that Chipotle giveaway to fill up on protein.

In short, the story of the tournament for Habs fans isn’t the free burritos, but Lane Hutson’s performance. The diminutive defenseman didn’t collect a point in the final, but he did finish the tournament with six points in seven games.

We knew about his offensive potential, now it was interesting to see his defensive play. After all, if he wants to be an elite NHL defenseman, he’ll have to maintain a good defensive game. As his coach has always said, his play in his own territory is underrated.

I couldn’t wait to see him with my own eyes, and Hutson impressed me. He showed everyone that he’s not just an offensive player, or as Simon Boisvert would put it, “a power play specialist… and that’s it”.

One of the Habs’ second-round picks in 2022, he played a lot, and not just offensively. As Mathias Brunet mentions in an article for LaPresse, he was used on the power play and in critical situations to protect a lead late in the game.

His speed and flair enabled him to pick up lots of pucks along the ramp. His positioning and mobility made him a difficult defenseman to beat one-on-one. – Mathias Brunet

And this afternoon, he was there at the end of the game to defend himself. He’s not going to become an Arber Xhekaj, but it’s good to see that he won’t depend on the Tricolore goons to do it. And he didn’t let his greatness speak for him.

This facet of his game wasn’t ignored by U.S. captain Rutger McGroarty:

He’s a dog. – Rutger McGroarty

If you’re going to compare him to animals, you might as well compare him to a horse. In the last 24 hours, he played a total of 53:32 seconds.

27:20 in the final…

As the journalist is keen to point out, the World Championship means absolutely nothing in terms of a player’s chances of breaking into the NHL. But it can give us a good idea. The big challenge for Kent Hughes’ protégé will be the games in Montreal at the end of the season, when his university club is eliminated.

Let the Lane Studson show begin!

Breaking news

– The Rocket is in Utica tonight.

– Additional details surface.

– Maxime Crepeau changes address.

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