Canadiens Sign Top Prospect, Former 2nd-Round Pick to NHL Contract

Lane Hutson of Boston University and Montreal Canadiens

Getty Lane Hutson of Boston University and Montreal Canadiens

With the NCAA season completed on Saturday, April 13, a few top-tier collegiate prospects are moving on from college and joining the professional circuit ahead of next season.

The Montreal Canadiens, for one, took advantage and announced the signing of defenseman Lane Hutson to a three-year, entry-level contract. Hutson’s deal is worth $2.85 million with a yearly salary of $950K, per PuckPedia.

Canadiens GM Kent Hughes confirmed the agreement on April 13, stating that Hutson will join the team on the fly in Detroit ahead of Monday’s contest where the prospect is expected to debut with the Habs.

Hutson was selected in the 2nd round (No. 62 overall) of the 2022 NHL draft. He is considered the best prospect in the Canadiens farm system according to Scott Wheeler of The Athletic. At 5-foot-10 and 161 pounds, the young blueliner will leave Boston University early and he should make a quick debut with the Habs before this season is over.

Canadiens’ Lane Hutson Is Expected to Debut This Season

Hutson’s signing will allow him to participate in at least some of the team’s final three games left on the Habs’ regular-season schedule.

That, however, will burn the first year of his three-year, entry-level contract.

With this decision, the Canadiens are both recognizing Hutson’s talents but also going into having to re-negotiate a deal at the end of the 2026 season when Hutson will enter the offseason as a restricted free agent.

“Some of the smartest fans in the world,” Hutson said, via TSN, before the start of the NCAA’s Frozen Four that finished on April 13. “I love how they are really competitive, too.

“To be able to play in front of those fans someday would definitely be a goal of mine. And something that I can look forward to.”

With Hutson’s addition, Montreal’s blueline looks promising for the future and it’s not even fully formed yet as the No. 2 prospect in the farm system is fellow defenseman David Reinbacher.

The Canadians assigned Reinbacher to their AHL affiliate team, the Laval Rocket, on March 18. Prior to that, he was playing in Switzerland for HC Kloten.

Lane Hutson Made the 2024 Frozen Four at Boston University

During this season with Boston University, 20-year-old Hutson scored 15 goals and 49 points in 38 games. He was nominated for the Hobey Baker Award for the second consecutive year, although prospective 2024 No. 1 pick Macklin Celebrini won the award.

Hutson was also named as an alternate captain for Team USA at the 2024 World Junior Hockey Championships in Sweden. He appeared in 7 games and scored 6 assists but no goals helping the USA win the gold against the hosts on January 5.

Over his two seasons with the Terriers, Hutson scored 30 goals and 97 points in 77 games. He was named a First-Team All-American in the 2023 season and was the first freshman to win the Walter Brown Award since Brian Leetch in 1987.

Hutson has also represented Team USA in five underage tournaments contributing 1 goal and 23 points across 25 games.

“Leads by example with his play and his work ethic and his compete,” Terriers head coach Jay Pandolfo told reporters about Hutson before the Frozen Four, via TSN. “He feels more comfortable being vocal this year.

“He’s just growing his game. He continues to get better there.”

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