Cole Hutson could attract interest


Right now, it's all about the Montreal Canadiens and who they will select fifth, but they also have another first-round pick that could get them a special player.

After NHL betting odds correctly predicted that Montreal would select fifth in the 2024 NHL Draft, they will now select 26th thanks to an additional first-round pick they received from the Winnipeg Jets last February in exchange for Sean Monahan.

There are a number of promising prospects in contention for the 26th overall pick, but one may be more familiar to Canadiens fans: the younger brother of top prospect Lane Hutson.

Cole Hutson, an electrifying offensive defenseman in his own right, is roughly the position where the Montreal Canadiens would select him for the second time in the first round, assuming the pick is not exchanged for an offensive forward in a deal.

To learn more about the player, MHN took the time to sit down with the 18-year-old and talk about his record-breaking season:

Similar, but still Different

Much more than just Lane's younger brother, Cole Hutson has achieved success of his own en route to a highly successful career in the US National Team Development Program.

“He's been incredible at driving the puck down the ice for us and supporting our team at the blue line,” teammate Cole Eiserman said in a previous interview with MHN. “He's a great teammate and will show the world how good he can be when it matters most.”

However, when you ask Hutson what he did to stand out as a promising young player, what stands out most is his attention to detail.

“I try to cover all my bases first and foremost and then get the puck up the ice with speed to score on the rush,” Hutson said of the differences between his style and his brother's. “I like the north-south approach on the ice and I like to carry the puck into the attacking zone to generate offense and find my open teammates.”

It was important for Cole to create his own identity with the USNTDP while continuing to refine his game and play a more complete style of hockey.

“As a defenseman, defense is a big part of my game and I'm very aware that I need to improve on that to get to the professional level,” Hutson said of the defensive side of the puck. “That's one of the main reasons I chose Boston University because they play such a strong style of two-way hockey and I want to be able to learn from that and develop further.”

It's no secret that Boston University head coach Jay Pandolfo knows a lot about how to play a solid two-way game at the pro level, and Hutson is eager to work with him as soon as possible.


Entering the season, all eyes were on Cole Hutson and Cole Eiserman, both of whom would break points records for the U.S. National Team Development Program, with Hutson being touted as a candidate for the all-time points record holder.

“It was something that was on my mind all season, but it came naturally when you're playing with such talented guys around you,” Hutson said of the pressure to live up to expectations. “I had to focus on winning and supporting my teammates on the ice. Winning is what you remember the most, setting records comes second and that's how I've approached it all year.”

But when you say you've accomplished more than Adam Fox, Quinn Hughes and even your own brother Lane Hutson, it's still a big deal. Hutson admitted that as the final games of the season approached, he did his best to block out all the noise and focus on finishing the season strong.

“When the U-18s came along, we all knew it was only a matter of time before the record was broken, but collectively we were just thinking about the gold medal,” Hutson said of his focus on success rather than individual accolades. “Eventually I broke the record and we celebrated a little on the bench. But then it was back to business and about winning the game that was in front of us.”

Hutson eventually surpassed JD Forrest, who scored 111 points in three seasons with the USNDP between 1997 and 2000, a record that has stood for the past 24 years. With 119 points in his two years with the program, Hutson's new record will likely stand for quite some time before someone else breaks it.

Despite their confident run to the final of the U-18 World Championship, Hutson and the US team ultimately lost in the gold medal match to the strong Canadian team led by Gavin McKenna. It was a bittersweet moment for Hutson, who felt both the joy of triumph and the sadness of failure in just a few days.

“It wasn't the result we all wanted or deserved, but I'm proud of the guys – I'd go to war with them,” Hutson said of his appreciation for his teammates.

Forward and upward

The younger Hutson brother is now focusing on the upcoming 2024 NHL Draft.

He witnessed the rush of the Montreal draft firsthand when his brother was selected 62nd overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2022 NHL Draft, and he's looking forward to his own turn in a few weeks.

“It was crazy to see such a reaction from the crowd,” Hutson said of his 2022 experience. “Seeing how passionate and knowledgeable the fans were and how much they immediately took to Lane was special. I'm looking forward to that same feeling.”

But now to the difficult questions.

When asked about his good relationship with the Montreal Canadiens, Hutson admitted to having met with their scouting team and having had several points of contact throughout the year.

“I've spoken to them a few times,” Hutson said. “It would be incredible to be part of this organization. To play in a market like this and an environment like this, where everyone lives and breathes hockey, is exactly what you dream of as a kid. You want to be the guy that people count on to take you to the top, and few cities appreciate that like Montreal, Boston or New York.”

Regardless of where he ends up, Cole Hutson plans to take his time and improve his game over the next few seasons in the NCAA. However, the Montreal Canadiens went out of their way to draft both Xhekaj brothers under the guise of “good family values” at last year's draft, so it wouldn't be too surprising to select Cole with the 26th overall pick.

This assumes that they still have a choice on June 28.

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