HabsWorld.net -- 

In news that should come as little surprise, the Habs announced on Friday that they’ve signed defenceman Lane Hutson to a three-year, entry-level contract.  As expected, the deal begins this season so he’ll be eligible to play for Montreal down the stretch.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but PuckPedia reports the deal breaks down as follows:

2023-24: $855,000 salary, $95,000 signing bonus
2024-25: $855,000 salary, $95,000 signing bonus, $750,000 “A” performance bonuses
2025-26: $855,000 salary, $95,000 signing bonus, $850,000 “A” performance bonuses

That makes the cap hit $950,000 and the AAV $1,333,333.

Hutson’s college team, Boston University, was eliminated in the NCAA’s Frozen Four on Thursday, paving the way for the deal to come together today with GM Kent Hughes on hand to watch the final games.

The 20-year-old was a late second-round pick back in 2022, going 62nd overall.  While Hutson was one of the more skilled defenders in that draft class, teams were concerned about his smaller stature as he stood just 5’8.  While he has grown slightly since then, he will be one of the smallest blueliners in the NHL once he makes his debut.

This season, Hutson put up 15 goals and 34 assists in 38 games, nearly identical output to the 15 tallies and 33 helpers he had in 39 appearances in his freshman campaign.  His 49 points tied him for the lead among all NCAA blueliners.  He also played for Team USA at the World Juniors, recording six assists while logging nearly 24 minutes a night.

With the Habs back in action on Saturday in Ottawa, it would seem unlikely that Hutson would debut so quickly.  However, with a back-to-back home-and-home set against Detroit coming Monday and Tuesday, he should make his NHL debut at that time.

As Hutson signed a deal that starts this season, he will be ineligible to join Laval for the stretch run although it’s possible that he garners consideration to play for the US at the Worlds next month.  With a roster that’s likely to feature more NHLers this time around though, Hutson being in the mix isn’t a lock by any stretch.

Once Hutson joins the Canadiens, emergency conditions for Justin Barron’s recall will cease so at that point, Barron will have to be sent back to Laval or converted into a regular recall which would be Montreal’s third out of four that they’re allowed.  Alternatively, Barron could be converted and Jayden Struble – a left-shot defender like Hutson – gets sent down so while Hutson can’t play for the Rocket, they could still benefit from this news as they continue to battle for a playoff spot.