Should The Capitals Trade Down For A Defenseman In The 2024 NHL Draft?

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NHL Draft
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Cole Hutson

If the name sounds fimiliar it's for a pretty good reason. The brother of Montreal Canadiens prospects Lane Hutson. Lane is one of the more exciting prospects in all of hockey and for sure one of the most enticing defensemen prospects out there. Lane was taken 62nd overall in the 2022 draft. It doesn't look like Cole will have to wait as long as his older brother. Bob McKenzie has him ranked at 47.

Like his brother he is a smaller guy. Cole is around 5'10" and is somewhere in the 160lbs range. He'll have time to fill out a little more, but he won't ever be a big guy.

We'll talk about the bad here first. Last Word on Sports calls his defensive game "atrocious". His offensive game may help lead to his bad defense thanks to turnovers. He's smaller which means it is harder to him to win physical battles. His stick work defensively might not be great either.

But if we're talking about offense from the back end, you will probably have it here with Hutson. Last Word on Sports also says his offensive upside is "sky high". The Hockey Writers says if he can round out his defensive game he could easily be a top four defenseman.

In terms of what kind of numbers has he put up, this season on the U-18 NTDP he scored 15 goals and 51 points in 51 games. He also scored 3 goals and 12 points in 19 games for the NTDP this season. He put up 4 goals and 13 points in 7 games in the IIHF U-18 tournament as well.

He's commited to going to Boston University. The same school his brother went to. He might be a couple of years off. If the Capitals want offense from D this could be a steal in the very late first round or early second round if they want to trade down, or up.