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Prospect Player Profile:
Ben Hutton, D - Vancovuer Canucks
Ben Hutton surprised everyone at the beginning of the season, making the Canucks NHL roster. He was able to put up 1 goal and 24 assists over 73 games; not bad for a rookie picked in round 5. He already possesses the skills and attributes of a talented two-way defender in the NHL. He is a great skater who can see the ice like few blue-liners his age. Comparable to Olli Maatta of the Penguins; Hutton possesses a calm, cool presence on the back end. Defensively, he uses his stick and positioning to keep the opposition away from the dangerous areas. He has no difficulty keeping up to the new pace of the game, which adds great versatility to his defensive side of the game. Offensively, Hutton displays a great combination of skating and playmaking ability. He is not a scoring threat just yet, but he is great at moving the puck up ice quickly and jumping into the rush when the opportunity presents itself.
That being said, he is a valuable two-way defender for the Canucks moving forward. His play has also been noted by Hockey Canada, who granted him a spot on the IIHF World Championship team this year. This should only help to improve his confidence moving forward.
Next season will be a true test for the young defenceman, who will be expected to take on an even larger role with the Canucks. Fellow blue-liner Dan Hamhuis' fate is still unknown. If he does in fact leave the team, Hutton may be expected to play huge minutes in only his second NHL season.
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