Canadiens’ Lane Hutson Talks Montreal, Fans & Goals For Season

Montreal Canadiens prospect Lane Hutson has quickly won over the hearts of fans, but he knows there’s still much work to be done.

From the moment he heard his name called out at the 2022 NHL Draft, Hutson knew there was going to be a ton of eyes on him moving forward; and that comes with a boatload of pressure.

But, for the 18-year-old, pressure is nothing new.

“Playing in those big tournaments, you learn how to deal and focus on doing everything you can to win,” said Hutson about channelling pressure into positive energy. “You may have butterflies at warmups, but when the game starts, you’re just playing as hard as you can. For me, it’s about getting into the game and blocking out the noise; the goal is to win.”

The high-tempo defenseman understands that there’s going to be pressure to perform anywhere he goes now, but he isn’t focused on living up to expectations; he’s looking to develop his game and do whatever he can to help his team.

Hutson did exactly that in his NCAA debut for the Boston University Terriers, putting up three assists in their season opener in an 8-2 victory.

But that’s just the beginning.

Focused on Improving

From the moment he hit the ice with the Montreal Canadiens’ development staff, Hutson was impressed by the amount of insight and experience provided by the developmental staff on the ice.

“It was an unbelievable experience, especially with all the great people that were there. They had great coaches and it felt high-end over there,” said Hutson on his experience at development camp. “One thing I took away from there is that you need to go give everything you have, every day. There’s always someone trying to take your job, and you’re trying to take someone else’s job; it’s a competitive league.”

Hutson knows that people are going to be looking out for his offensive qualities, but, in his estimation, for him to maintain that competitive edge, it’s his mental game that will need tweaking before he can take his overall play to the next level.

“One thing that I will continue to work on, and I have since late last season, is, when I’m coming in my own end, I get overly excited to kill plays and get up the ice,” said Hutson on the aspect of his defensive game he’d like to work on. “I have to have a little more poise. Hold space and kill plays at the right time and let the game come to me.”

By playing with more patience and letting the game come to him, Hutson feels he’ll be better equipped to defend gaps, while also being more optimal in puck retrievals and counter-attacks. Playing against 21 and 22-year-olds in the NCAA will certainly help him practice this shift in approach, as the game is much quicker and tighter than what he’s been used to in the past.

Praise For Montreal, Developmental Staff

The city of Montreal has a very unique atmosphere when it comes to hockey compared to the rest of the league; and Hutson loved every minute of it.

When asked to talk about his favourite moment, he didn’t hesitate:

“Right when I got drafted,” said Hutson on his favourite moment in Montreal. “I felt like I just scored a goal, because the Montreal fans seemed really happy to have me. It was such a fun experience.”

The following didn’t stop there, as a couple of days after the draft, the Montreal Canadiens held their development camp in Brossard to a full house; which caught Hutson by surprise.

“It’s exciting. I don’t think many developmental camps have that atmosphere,” said Hutson on the passion of the fans in Montreal. “You don’t see many places with that many people passionate about the sport. For me, I just invited that pressure, because it got me excited.”

Experiencing The Passion Of Montreal

After development camp, Hutson made his way to the United States World Junior Camp and was one of the final cuts. He spent the rest of the summer thereafter focused on getting stronger and faster.

When he got to Boston University for his freshman year, not only was Hutson stronger and visibly faster, but he also grew an inch taller; news that drew a funny reaction from Montreal Canadiens fans.

“No, I didn’t see any of that, that’s pretty funny (laughs),” said Hutson on the social media reaction to him having grown an inch.“

The passion of the city, the prestige of the organization and the impact it’s had on Hutson since he was drafted has motivated him to continue his growth in the NCAA and get his game up to the level that would warrant a professional contract.

As for where he’d like to play, it seems that Hutson is very much focused on not only playing in Montreal, but winning here.

“Yes, For sure. It’s a ways away and we have to see how things go for me in my development, but I definitely see myself playing there,” said Hutson on whether he sees himself with the Canadiens in the future. “It’s a pretty exciting place to play, but, more importantly, it’s an incredible place to win.”

With an interesting year ahead of him, Hutson is focused on helping the Terriers win; but Montreal remains in the back of his mind as a long-term goal.

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