NCAA standout Ben Hutton signs with Canucks

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The Vancouver Canucks have announced that defenseman Ben Hutton has decided to forgo his senior season with the University of Maine to begin his pro career.

Hutton was taken in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft before he started his NCAA tenure. He led all college blueliners in goals with 15 in 2013-14 and also recorded 14 assists in 35 games. That earned him a place on the Second Team All-American as well as Bob Monahan Award, which goes to New England’s top defenseman.

“He’s obviously a very, very good offensive player,” Maine coach Dennis “Red” Gendron told USCHO in Oct. 2014. “He has above-average instincts, and he knows what to do with the puck. He’s probably a little underrated defensively. He doesn’t skate around the ice looking for the big hit. But he uses his stick and his reach. He keeps things simple.”

Hutton has gone on to score nine goals and 21 points in 39 contests this season.

His decision comes after Maine’s leading scorer Devin Shore signed with Dallas last week.