2024 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Cole Hutson

Rena Laverty, NTDP

The Scouting Report:

Cole Hutson born in North Barrington, IL is projected to be drafted towards the end of the first round in this year’s NHL Entry Draft. Hutson, born June 28, 2006, measures five-foot-ten and 159 pounds. Cole comes from a hockey family, with his brother Lane, a prospect of the Montreal Canadiens, also looking like a solid future NHL player.

Cole Hutson played in the NTDP and USHL this past year with 18 goals and 63 points in 70 games. Hutson is looking like he has the tools he needs to be an impressive NHL prospect and is one of the better defensemen in this year’s draft. Cole will be playing in the NCAA next season with Boston University.

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Draft Projections

Ranked #26 by Inside The Rink
Ranked #26 by TSN/Craig Button
Ranked #37 by Daily Faceoff
Ranked #40 by Dobber Prospects

Let’s take a deeper dive into Cole Hutson and what makes him a great option to be picked in the first round in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft.

Diving Deeper:

Skating

One of the main keys to Hutson’s game is his skating. He uses body positioning and smarts to create room on the ice and carries the puck through the neutral zone well. He often makes quick passes in the offensive zone and is quite dynamic too. Hutson’s play creates offense for both himself and his teammates.

“Hutson’s all about skating into the offensive zone, assessing his options and making a quick pass or finding an open lane to get the puck somewhere dangerous. It’s been a bit of a mixed bag, early in the season he was known try a bit too much and get himself into hot water; that’s gotten better as the season’s gone on but at the cost of some of his on-puck dare.”

David Saad – Dobber Prospects – Apr. 20th

Physical Play

Cole is an aggressive player, more than his brother, and this helps him to win more puck battles and cut off lanes on the rush which can help limit the opponents’ chances. Hutson competes at a high level, not giving up on pucks and although he isn’t a bigger player he plays above his height and weight class and plays with grit, which is coveted by NHL teams.

“He competes, and has the will to defend. But he also has some remarkable playmaking capabilities and even showed a refined goal-scoring touch this season. Hutson gets into plays aggressively and more NHL teams are finding spots for players that play like him.”

Chris Peters – Flo Hockey – June 3rd

Passing

Taking a further look at Cole Hutson, you can see him making smart plays with the puck. Often he makes a quick pass which can catch opponents off guard. He can be seen making smart breakout passes and in the offensive zone to help contribute to his team’s offense.

On-Ice Abilities:

With Cole taking the jump to the NCAA he will look to improve his defensive game. While he has some good instincts, he takes a lot of risks which at times lead to chances against. These types of mistakes will get punished more as he reaches the next level, so he will look to continue to develop his read-on plays and ultimately defensive game.

There are lots of aspects that stick out with Cole Hutson’s game, but it’s only the start of his development as the NCAA is another beast. Hutson has a skilled shot too that he will look to take with him to the NCAA.

Prospect Potential:

Cole Hutson is looking like a good bet to make the NHL down the road, but it will take some development time. At worst, he should become a top-six defenseman, but based on his current skillset and offensive potential, he looks more like a top-four defenseman down the line. It will be a lot easier to project Hutson’s ceiling after he’s played a season in the NCAA.

Best Potential Fit:

Montreal Canadiens: Starting with where we have Hutson projected at 26th overall, the Montreal Canadiens. With the Montreal Canadiens selecting 5th overall and likely to select a forward, when it comes to 26th overall, their strategy may become next best player, and with the familiarity of having Lane Hutson already in their system, it could be an opportunity for the two brothers to be drafted to the same time. This wouldn’t be the first time the Canadiens do this either as they drafted Arber Xhekaj’s brother Florian last year.

New York Rangers: The New York Rangers select 30th overall in this year’s draft and could be looking to add a defenseman to their prospect pool. The Rangers’ prospect pool has taken a hit with the team being in contention each year, so adding a future NHL defenseman to their mix would be a smart decision. Hutson could be a great fit timing-wise, as when he’s ready for the NHL, the current defense core in New York will be near the end of their careers and will be able to play veteran roles to help Hutson adapt to the NHL level.

San Jose Sharks: The San Jose Sharks hold the first pick in the second round of the draft, and like the Rangers, could be in the market for a defenseman. The Sharks will be selecting Celebrini first overall, and hold the 14th overall pick but should Hutson fall to the second round, the Sharks make a lot of sense for Hutson. The Sharks already have a plethora of forward prospects, and adding an offensive defenseman to their team would help as he’d be joining the league roughly towards the end of the Sharks rebuild. I could see a scenario where the Sharks choose a defender with both the 14th, and 33rd overall pick, and Hutson would be a great fit for the Sharks.

Final Thoughts:

Cole Hutson is a skilled defenseman who will look to make his own path to the NHL as he continues to develop his offensive and defensive game while continuing with the physical aspects of his game that make him effective.

Stats via Elite Prospects

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

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