Lane Hutson has outstanding skills in the stacked 2022 USNTDP Prospect Class

Watching a recent NHL match is nearly impossible unless at least one or a few influential players are former members of the US National Team Development Program.

Founded over a quarter of a century ago, USNTDP has helped many of the top hockey stars to hone their ice and ice skills, including the active Heart and the winner of the continuous “Rocket” Richard.

Over the years, more than 600 players have participated in the program, more than half of which have been drafted by the NHL team. More than half of these drafts were selected in the first three rounds. This demonstrates a consistently high level of talent that the program produces. ..

As most experts predict, if Logan Cooley and / or Cutter Gauthier ends up in the top five choices, USNTDP graduates will be drafted within the first five picks for the fifth consecutive year. increase.

There were 18 prospects associated with the program drafted a year ago, four in the opening round. This year’s draft class is even more talented in USA hockey.

Ten players from the 2021-22 U.S. National U18 roster finished the season in the top 50 of the Central Scout’s pre-draft final rankings.

“We all got better because there were so many special players in the group,” USNTDP member Isaac Howard told Sportsnet at the 2022 Scouting Combine.

Howard said he believes nine teammates could be selected in the opening round alone. One of those teammates, Lane Hatson, is probably the most unique of all draft-qualified Americans.

Hutson is a defenseman and, due to his lack of size and abundant skills, sees him as one of the more interesting prospects ahead of the 2022 NHL draft.

Hutson is listed at £ 5’8 and £ 158, making it the shortest and lightest blue liner expected to be off board in the first few rounds of the year.

The 25th-placed North American skater may go to the second half of the opening round if the team is high on the upside of the petite defense. If not, you may be taken relatively early on the second day of the draft.

Hutson has earned about £ 10 since joining the program in 2021, thanks to its thorough strength and conditioning regimen led by Brian Gullivan, USNTDP Director of Sports Science. Still, his lack of size remains the most obvious, surface-level issue that leads to doubts about his potential, despite the fact that he excels in many other areas.

Sportsnet’s Sam Cosentino believes that “from an ice perspective, he’s a solid first rounder,” and “if Hutson was 5 feet 10 today, he’s expected to be in the top 15 picks of this draft. increase.”

Hutson interviewed 16 teams, half of the league, at the combine in June and has an interesting document to theoretically alleviate the concerns that teams have about their size to prove he is not a Liliptian. I’ve been.

Hutson’s endocrinologist reports that his bone age lags behind his biological age. That is, his bones still have more than a year of additional bone growth.

“That’s what I wanted to share with them,” Hutson said. “And they are like,” Oh, that’s good, I’m glad you’re ready. ” I think all the questions in the room are usually about my size, it’s obvious. But either way, I’m not too worried. “

One of the quantifiable evidences that Hutson has a bright future ahead of him, regardless of what is measurable, is the June EJ McGuire Excellence Award. It is awarded annually by the NHL to prospects who “best demonstrate their commitment to excellence through personality strength, competitiveness and athletic performance.” This is a small number of features that are prominent in individuals at the NHL level.

Past winners of this award include Flyers’Travis Conekney, Devil’s Nikohe Shell, the first comprehensive pick of 2017, and William Ecklund, the seventh comprehensive pick a year ago.

After Hatson won the award, USNTDP Associate Coach Nick Forr said, “Lane is an undeniable child and is always working.”To do it: defeat everyone else and that’s what he does it’s special

“On the ice, he makes his teammates better. He found a way to get the pack when most players can’t usually do it. In the changing room, he’s a little quieter, but he. Has so much respect for his work ethic on the ice that everyone listens to him. “

Hutson noticed how well his father looked at the ice at an early age, and since then has consistently proved that the denials are wrong during the power play of the Blue Line and quarterbacks. , Has played a lifelong defense.

Originally from Northbank, Illinois, Hatson played youth hockey before spending the U16 season at AAA North Jersey Avalanche in New Jersey and before joining the USNTDP for the 2020-21 season.

He grew up as a Blackhawks fan and looked up at Patrick Kane, who modeled part of the game. Hatson’s slightly hyperbolic tunnel vision analysis with a focus on peak potential may ask rhetorically: what if Patrick Kane decides to be a defensive man instead of a wing?

Of course, Kane was a franchise futures and was inducted into the Hall of Fame, the first ballot of the future, and was ranked number one in 2007, but a tape at Hutson clearly shows the similarities to Kane. understand.

This is a short clip of Hatson, who dominates the University of Alaska Fairbanks earlier this year. Some of his movement and pack handling skills are certainly like Kane. Also, admire the edge work.

When Hutson spoke to the pipeline show earlier this year, “I think I’m a mobile guy who can find space. Find an open guy and regenerate and create ice.”

He has made significant improvements between the U17 and U18 campaigns, with inventory increasing steadily over the past year after leading the U18 national team with 53 assists in 60 games.

“I feel less confident when I participate in the program. Obviously, after the first year, my fitness, size and everything else has improved,” Hutson added. “I feel like I can play both ends at a fairly high level this year. This year I can contribute much more aggressively than last year because of how much confidence I have gained.”

“The lane description always refers to his size, and one of the more attractive features of the lane is knowing how to use his size to his advantage to dispel perceived limitations. That’s what Dammer, director of NHL Central Scouting, said. “It’s this feature, how he approaches his training and games, where he competes with his free passion and gains the respect of his teammates and opponents.”

Hatson took full advantage of the comprehensive off-ice program and packed his muscles in a healthy way that didn’t negatively impact speed.

“All the resources out there, strength and conditioning coaches, head coaches, assistants, they’re all there to help and support you,” Coolie said of USNTDP. “We’re on the ice for two hours and in the waitroom for two hours. I think that’s a special reason (as our group) coming out of it.”

Expected first round forward Rutger McGroarty said: Collaborate with them and compete with them in small areas of games and waitrooms, or wherever you are. “

Ryan Chezley has been Hatson’s main defense partner for the past season. Chesley is the only blue liner from USNTDP ranked before Hatson, but he’s 6 feet and 201 pounds and size doesn’t matter to him. He said Chesley was a combine and he considered him the best defender in the draft, while acknowledging his puck skills. Decision-making with a puck on a stick is an area where he needs to improve the most. In a sense, it’s the opposite of Hatson, who is often praised for his stick skills and vision and aims to improve on the defender side.

Another honor given to Hatson this past season was when he was named the best defender in the 2022 World Championships under the age of 18. He has recorded 13 assists in a total of 11 games in the last two World U18 tournaments, after becoming one of the 60 players invited to the USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp later this summer. It has the potential to play an important role in Team USA at World Junior in 2023. USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mississippi.

Pure mass aside, his relative lack of wingspan can be a problem when the front grows at speed. Also, even if his strength improves, Hatson will not immediately beat the 220-pound power forward in front of the net.

Hatson continues to hone his skills while filling the still-growing frame at Boston University in the fall, making his debut with his brother Quinn Hatson, who spent the last two seasons at USHL’s Muskellunge Lumber Jacks.

Hatson, whose father Rob stands at 5 feet-11, told Combine reporters that Quinn had sprouted a few inches since he was 19 and is now standing at 5 feet-11. Quinn is your positive idea. As a result, size concerns are naturally emphasized when analyzing defenders (no puns are intended).

Minnesota Wild’s Jared Spurgeon is currently the smallest defense in the NHL at 5’9 and 166 pounds, while champion Colorado Avalanche’s 5’10 Samuel Girard weighs only 170 pounds and is the second lightest in the league. It’s a defense. Both have grown into very effective everyday players, but neither has shown the aggressive upside-down type that Hatson showed in the years before the draft.

In theory, Hatson could follow a similar path to a pair of fellow smaller blue liners and USNTDP graduates.

Adam Fox was ranked 66th overall when he stood 5 feet -10, 183 pounds in 2016. The winner of the 2021 Norris Trophy was listed at 5ft-11 last year, but still only about £ 180, as it was when drafted.

Quinn Hughes finished 7th overall in Vancouver in 2018. Hughes was drafted at £ 5ft-10, £ 170 and was listed at £ 5ft-10, £ 180 this past season as 22 years old.

In terms of its value, Hatson showed a better USNTDP number than both Fox and Hughes. The question is which team will give Hatson a chance. A few years later, does the league look back and see it as a theft?

Lane Hutson has outstanding skills in the stacked 2022 USNTDP Prospect Class

Source link Lane Hutson has outstanding skills in the stacked 2022 USNTDP Prospect Class

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