3 two-way defensemen the NY Rangers must keep their eye on in the 2024 NHL Draft

Despite being one of the league’s premier teams, the NY Rangers still have their first-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.
Ottawa 67s v Oshawa Generals
Ottawa 67s v Oshawa Generals / Chris Tanouye/GettyImages
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Cole Hutson is a forward who just has the label ‘LD’ next to his name

Okay, so Henry Mews would be an outstanding prospect, but if there is anyone slated to go toward the back end of the first round who may have the most upside, it’s Cole Hutson. The only real issue here is if Hutson will drop past the Montreal Canadiens, who also have his brother, Lane Hutson, in their organization.

But Cole may have more upside than his brother, so with the family ties, general manager Kent Hughes may snag the younger Hutson. However, if the Canadiens wind up trading the 26th pick and Hutson is still there, it’s fair game and more than possible he falls to Chris Drury at 30th overall. 

In his 2023-24 season in the NTDP and the USHL, Hutson played in 70 games, yet finished the year with 63 points, 18 goals, and 45 assists. Much of that came from his willingness to play like a forward, driving pucks through all three zones without even thinking about passing the puck, showing off elite hands and puck control, and getting shots off when he’s got a good look. 

Like Aron Kiviharju, Hutson’s on the small side, but if last year is a good indicator, the durability was there. Overall, you won’t see Hutson contending for a spot on the big club just yet since he will first seek to conquer the collegiate level at Boston University, but if he keeps playing like that - while also displaying outstanding defense - he’s a shoo-in to eventually earn a spot on even the most competitive big clubs. 


(Statistics powered by Elite Prospects)