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Is the next Len Hutson hiding in Quebec?

Is the next Len Hutson hiding in Quebec?

A simple interview with Doug Friedman, director of hockey operations for the Boston University Terriers men's program, is enough to believe that the Montreal Canadiens already have a gem in young defenseman Len Hutson. However, the gem needs polishing.

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“He still has a lot to learn before he can become a regular player in the NHL,” Friedman said cautiously of the 20-year-old.

At the same time, the hockey guy made it clear that Hutson has the talent and character to make an impact in the NHL one day.

“Anyone who knew him at Boston University would say he eventually made an impact,” said Friedman, who has held his current position since July 2021. “From my perspective, it was very special to be able to work with him.” . Beyond the player on the ice, Lin is a good guy. He is a competitive and motivated man with an impeccable work ethic.

Coming soon to Montreal

Friedman is constantly looking for good players for Boston University, and he will be in the greater Montreal area, June 14-16, hoping to find a player from Quebec with similar qualities to Hutson.

“We are always looking for good players with skills. Physical appearance is important, but not everything, in light of the first edition of the Montreal Hockey Tournament, organized by Terrebonne Hockey Students, in collaboration with Boston University and the RedHawks Hockey Program,” he explained. “Our university has academic standards.” Very high, so we have to look for good students as well.

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Quebec is promising

The Boston University Terriers already have a promising hockey player in Quebec who should be wearing their colors in a few years. Zachary Morin is now 17 years old, originally from Lachenai, and signed up for the program last August.

“He can be a very good player for us and have a big impact on the team,” Friedman surmised, regarding the player who played in the USHL, with the Youngstown Phantoms, last season.

Back to Hutson, remember the 5'8″ defenseman completed a two-season stay with BU last season before signing a three-year contract worth a total of $4.45 million with the Canadiens, in April.



Len Hutson, wearing a Montreal Canadiens uniform, on April 16, at Bell Centre.

QMI Photo Agency, Martin Allary

Without delay, he played two matches for Montreal against the Detroit Red Wings, on April 15 and 16, during which he got an assist on each occasion. However, nothing guarantees that young Hutson will start next season for the big club.

Deep respect for Bob Hartley

Having played at Boston University himself before eventually making it to the NHL, former forward Doug Friedman admits he learned a lot about the sport by working with coach Bob Hartley early in his career.

Even today, as director of hockey operations for the Terriers' men's program, Friedman, 52, follows some of the advice he once gave the Hawkesbury Pride to ensure youngsters develop.

“It was an honor to be drafted by the Quebec Nordiques [en 1993] I soon knew Bob in the American League [de hockey, avec les Aces de Cornwall et les Bears de Hershey]Friedman said when asked about his hockey career. For me, he was a great coach. He, who is very competitive, showed me how to be a professional. Even after I stopped playing, I continued to call him for advice.

Calder Cup Champions

Under Hartley's orders, Friedman was part of Hershey's Calder Cup champion team in 1997. The forward then contributed significantly to the win with 15 points, including six goals, in 23 games. Quebec players Eric Fillot and Pascal Trepanier were also among the best players on this team.

Speaking of his short stint in the NHL, Friedman played 16 games in an Edmonton Oilers uniform in 1997-98, before playing two more games with the Nashville Predators the following season.