USNTDP

Fantasy Summary

Cole Hutson is an offensive defenseman with elite creativity, deception, and handling skill, but his defensive game needs an overhaul for him to not project as a liability in his own zone at the NHL level.


Observations

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April 2024 – Plain to say, Cole Hutson has not hit the strides many predicted he would, but there’s little doubt to what he brings to the table. 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 to feel himself 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 daring-do. Lately, Hutson’s been keeping it simple and he’s been finding reasonable success with it. He’s slowly getting his swagger back too, but the concerns are evergreen. The defensive game, where he’s a revolving door on the rush and along the boards. There’s a tinge of worry for how often he’s been spotted with his head down in open-ice and there’s some questions to the validity of an NHL defenseman of his caliber without high-end dynamism. Hutson has fought back by limiting the amount of opportunities opponents have to expose his flaws by playing a more possession oriented game. He’s not as boom/bust as he’s made out to be, but there may be a lower ceiling then was initially hoped. David Saad

April Ranking: 52nd

November 2023 – Cole Hutson has been the most dichotomized prospect in our viewings so far this year. Offensively, he flashes brilliant skill, combined with advanced anticipation, creativity, deception, and processing speed. On the other hand, his defensive play has turned a fair few hairs on our heads gray already. His loose gap control, very inconsistent defensive scanning both against the rush and the cycle, and perception of secondary scoring threats have all plagued our early viewings and contributed to his fall outside our top 20, despite the elite skill in a class lacking just that. Hutson loves having the puck on his stick and is upstaged only by James Hagens among USNDTP puck carriers this year. His on-puck toolkit is even more dynamic and refined than Lane’s was in his draft year, featuring far more fluidity in his skating, a significantly higher top speed, and the offensive aggression that his brother only fully leaned into when he hit the NCAA. Hutson could easily rocket up our board with increased consistency in his play and a bit of polishing on his defensive game as the season progresses, but for now, he falls at 24. Sebastian High (November Rankings: 24th Overall)

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 9.0
NHL Certainty 6.0
Country USA
Position D
Roster Type Draft Eligible
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth June 28, 2006
Height 5‘10”
Weight 159 lbs
Drafted No

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2014-2015 Chicago Jr. Blackhawks Brick Invitational6 1 45 0|        
 2015-2016 Chicago Jr. Blackhawks Brick Invitational6 0 33 2|        
 2017-2018 Pro Hockey Selects U12WSI U128 3 36 -|        
 2018-2019 Detroit Honeybaked QC Int PW2 2 02 0|        
 2019-2020 North Jersey Avalanche 14U AAAAYHL 14U25 4 59 16|        
 2020-2021 North Jersey Avalanche 14U AAAAYHL 14U16 8 2129 4|        
  Draftday Selects U15 WSI U159 0 33 -|        
 2021-2022 Team Royal USA-S154 0 11 0|        
  North Jersey Avalanche 16U AAAAYHL 16U24 20 4262 38|        
 2022-2023 U.S. National U17 TeamNTDP42 8 3442 45|        
  U.S. National U18 TeamNTDP19 2 2426 27|        
  USNTDP JuniorsUSHL32 4 2125 52|        
  USA U17WHC-177 0 99 4|        
  USA U18WJC-187 1 1112 8|        
 2023-2024 U.S. National U18 TeamNTDP51 15 3651 52|        
  USNTDP JuniorsUSHL19 3 912 14|        
  USA U18WJC-187 4 913 6|        
 2024-2025 Boston Univ.NCAA- - -- -|        

Highlights