Off-Ice News

‘He’s a special player’: Lane Hutson era comes to a close

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

The Lane Hutson era has come to a close. 

On Friday, the Montreal Canadiens’ 62nd overall pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Original Six club, officially ending his Terrier career. 

Since taking over at the helm of the program, Boston University head coach Jay Pandolfo has instilled a winning culture back on Comm. Ave. Over his two seasons as the bench boss, Pandolfo led his team to a remarkable 57-21-2 record, including back-to-back Frozen Four berths for the first time in 27 years. 

“To get back here two-straight years, it’s hard to do, but I think that’s the expectation of this program,” Pandolfo said. “We want players that want to play in that environment and want to be part of a program that is striving for that.” 

But without the caliber of player like Hutson, the Terriers may not have reached these milestones. 

“[Lane] would rather win than any individual award. That’s how he’s wired, and that’s the type of player we want,” Pandolfo said. 

In his 77 games in the scarlet and white, Lane Hutson did a lot of Lane Hutson things. The star blueliner recorded a career 97 points (30 goals, 67 assists), including 10 game-winners. Most notably, Hutson became the highest scoring first-year defenseman in Hockey East history, notched the tournament-winning goal in the 2023 Hockey East Championship and was named a back-to-back top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. 

However, it was not just the accolades Hutson racked up during his collegiate career that defined him, but rather the manner in which he carried himself on and away from the ice. 

“It’s just the countless hours that he puts in when no one’s watching. He’s the first one at the rink. He’s the last one to leave,” graduate forward Sam Stevens said. “That’s just Lane in a nutshell, and he’s a great leader by example.”

Hutson admits he was “surprised” when he first learned the team voted him to this season’s leadership group, but the ‘A’ on his chest showed how much he was respected in the BU locker room. Although Pandolfo describes Hutson as “quiet,” the team did not let his unparalleled compete level and commitment to the program go unrecognized. 

“He grew this year in a leadership role,” Pandolfo said. “Guys realized he didn’t speak up a lot, and when he did, he meant it…he’s gonna back up what he says.”

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

Hutson described the Terriers’ tight-knit group as a “brotherhood,” reiterating how BU’s culture enforces its players to play for each other instead of themselves. Even through his endless personal achievements, Hutson was always most excited to talk about his teammates’ latest accomplishments — including Quinn’s, his actual brother. 

“I come to the rink, and Quinn’s my teammate, he’s also my brother,” Hutson said. “That’s how I feel with anyone here. Everyone’s my brother.”

This season, Hutson established a special brotherly connection with the 2024 Hobey Baker Award-winner, Macklin Celebrini. The highly-touted freshman became the youngest player ever to take home college hockey’s most prestigious award, and Hutson had a sizable hand in the feat. 

Hutson assisted on 15 of the leading-NCAA freshman scorer’s 32 goals this season, including 12 primary assists. 

“I wouldn’t have had the success I had without him,” Celebrini said. “He’s an amazing player, a great person.”

Even though Hutson is known for his unmatched offensive capabilities, this season the assistant captain greatly developed the defensive details in his game.

“He’s grown every day,” Stevens said. “I think his defensive zone got a lot better over the past year. Obviously a threat every time he has the puck on his stick.”

This year, BU housed a rare seven NHL-drafted defensemen in its regular rotation on the back end. But with three freshmen among the defensive pairs, Hutson has used his heightened leadership role to mentor the young blueliners. 

“He’s been huge to just watch and learn from because he’s a special player,” freshman defenseman Aiden Celebrini said. “There’s so much you can take from his game and, hopefully, get a smidge of that in your offense.”

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

Graduate captain Case McCarthy is part of the graduating class that helped return BU to the national stage. When asked what core tenets he hopes remain with future classes, he echoed: “respect and compete.”

“It’s what this program is about, it’s what the history is built on,” McCarthy said. “Compete and play as hard as you can because you never know when it’s going to end.”

Hutson is now part of the program’s ever-lasting history, paving the way for Terriers to come — including his brother and incoming freshman defenseman, Cole. 

“I’m excited for Cole to come in,” Pandolfo said. “They play similarly, so it’ll be fun to watch him…tough to live up to what Lane did in these two years.”

Watching three Hutson brothers on the same sheet of ice would have been a spectacle, but Lane is more than ready to take the next step. 

Terrier nation thoroughly embraced Hutson during his two seasons at BU, but rest assured, he is in good hands in Montreal. At the next level, he has already been welcomed with open arms by the Mecca of the hockey world. 

Hutson made an early departure from BU’s Frozen Four stay in Minnesota to join the Canadiens’ final roadtrip of their regular season. The rookie is expected to make his NHL debut in Detroit on Monday — a full-circle moment for the former USNTDP member who spent two years playing just west of the Motor City in Ann Arbor. 

Even more special, the Barrington, Illinois native will face off against his childhood idol, Patrick Kane, in his debut. “He’s got this bigger than life-size banner of Patrick Kane in his room,” Rob Hutson, Lane’s father said on The Sick Podcast. “For 10 years, he’s woken up to that.” 

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

The next night, Hutson is expected to wrap up his season on Montreal home ice on Tuesday, and at both games, he will have a wealthy support system. 

“It’s exciting and nerve wracking at the same time,” Rob said. “Everybody’s going to Detroit, and we want to be in Montreal also with the great hockey fans in the world. We’re not missing that.”

“Lane’s a special player, a special person. He does everything to an extraordinary level,” freshman forward Jack Harvey said. “This is an incredible opportunity for him. Honestly, just really happy for him. He deserves everything that he’s getting.”

“He’s going to do great things as long as he stays confident. He’s the best at what he does, so I have no worries,” Stevens said. 

“It was great to be his teammate this last year. I wish him the best of luck in the coming years,” Macklin Celebrini said.

One Comment

  1. It will be so interesting to see how his game translates on the professional level. Wishing him nothing but the best.