Skip to content
Lane Hutson could have been drafted first overall had he been an inch taller than he is at present.
Credit: Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

All over the NHL, there’s a lot of talk about the next NHL amateur draft, which will take place in just over a month’s time in Vegas. And it’s only going to intensify over the next few weeks.

In Montreal, we’re also wondering (again) whether Kent Hughes and his gang did the right thing by drafting David Reinbacher fifth overall last summer, when guys like Matvei Michkov (who should be arriving in North America in September), Dalibor Dvorsky, Ryan Leonard and Zach Benson were still available.

Reinabcher (really) didn’t have a great 2023-24 season…

But the 2022 draft was quickly forgotten, it seems. And yet…

Juraj Slafkovsky, who just had a good season AND a good tournament in the Czech Republic, is proving right those who saw him as the best prospect of his (weak) vintage. The Habs seem to have made no mistake in selecting him at the very first level two years ago.

Filip Mesar (26th) and Owen Beck (33rd) are increasingly being questioned by experts and fans alike…

But Lane Hutson, selected at the very end of the second round by the Tricolore, seems to be a sure shot. After two incredible seasons in the NCAA, he picked up two points in two games in April with the Habs. He’ll be battling it out with Logan Mailloux and David Reinabcher in September to be the team’s new kid on the blue line. His dynamism on skates is unmatched in the organization.

Hutson is pretty much guaranteed to be an NHLer for years to come; the question is whether he’ll be a star defenseman or a third-pair power-play guy. Not bad for a late second-round pick…

Tony Marinaro interviewed Craig Button yesterday on the Sick Podcast, and Button had quite a statement to make. According to him, Lane Hutson would have been among the players considered for the top spot in 2022 had he been 5’11 – not 5’8 – on draft night.

In short, a 5’11 defenseman like Hutson is a high-quality enough asset to possibly be drafted at the very top (in a rather weak year like 2022, let’s remember).

It’s big!

But why?

Because Lane Hutson was 5’10 when he played his two games with the Canadiens a month and a half ago.

Hutson had shown up at the NHL combine with medical reports attesting to stunted growth due to a medical condition, but all would be resolved in the years following his selection. It wasn’t until the 62nd round that a team dared to take the Hutson gamble, even with those medical papers.

You have to take the right risks when your ass is on the line, and in Hutson’s case, the right risk was clearly taken.

CF Montreal Canadien fans: there’s plenty to get excited about with the future of Montreal’s defensive brigade. Hutson, Guhle, Xhekaj, Reinbacher, Mailloux, Engstrom, Harris, Konyushkov, Barron, Struble…

On the downside, Craig Button is known to have some (very) controversial opinions when it comes to the draft. Even if Hutson had been 5’11, that doesn’t mean he would have been a top-five pick. Button has placed Konsta Helenius, Tij Iginla and Zayne Parekh in his top five for the current year. I’m pretty sure Helenius and Parekh will go further than that…

And in 2019, he had Cole Caufield at number four!

Note that Craig Button ranked Lane’s little brother Cole Hutson 23rd on his list for this year. Last time I checked, Cole is 5’10. Does that mean he’s not as good as his brother?

In short, we can rejoice and get a little excited about Button’s release, but we have to leave a little aside…

In brief

– Did Romell Quioto have a message? Was he delighted by his former club’s defeat?

– Gabriel Gervais met the players yesterday at the Nutrilait Center.

– I’m putting my cash on CF Montreal for tomorrow…

– But I’ll still wait a bit before bringing out the ovation.

– Samuel Piette was very vocal and transparent in this morning’s press briefing.

– Ariel Lassiter MUST be better defensively… especially since he’s mandated to defend when he plays piston.

– Images that make the police officer who arrested Scottie Scheffler look bad…

More Content