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Canadiens sign top prospect Hutson to 3-year ELC

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The Montreal Canadiens signed top prospect Lane Hutson to a three-year entry-level contract beginning this season, the team announced Friday.

Hutson racked up 15 goals and 49 points in 38 games this season with Boston University. The defenseman had two more years of NCAA eligibility remaining.

The 20-year-old will join the Canadiens in Detroit on Monday ahead of their final two games of the season, TSN's Chris Johnston reports. He won't be with the team for Saturday's contest against the Ottawa Senators.

The first year of Hutson's contract will count toward the 2023-24 campaign regardless of whether he plays a game. He's also ineligible to be sent down to the AHL until next season.

The Terriers lost in the Frozen Four semifinals Thursday, paving the way for Hutson to sign and forgo the remainder of his collegiate career.

The Canadiens drafted Hutson 62nd overall in 2022. He exploded offensively as a freshman with the Terriers, recording 15 goals and 48 points. The 5-foot-10, 162-pound rearguard earned numerous accolades, including Hockey East Rookie of the Year.

Hutson was dominant again this season, finishing as a top-10 Hobey Baker finalist for the second year in a row.

With 97 points in 77 NCAA games, Hutson is the highest-scoring collegiate defenseman since 1997 on a per-game basis.

Hutson has starred with Team USA at the world juniors and World Championship. He tallied six points in nine games at the Worlds last spring and was the top blue-liner on the U.S. squad that won gold at the world juniors in January.

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