Hutton has been ‘way beyond’ expectations for Canucks


A year ago, Ben Hutton was playing defense at the University of Maine, on a struggling Black Bears team that finished the season 14-22-3.

Nobody expected him to make the jump to the NHL in 2015-16.

But that’s exactly what he’s done with the Vancouver Canucks, while displaying the kind of poise with the puck that’s hard to teach and so valuable in today’s fast-paced game.

“He’s way beyond my expectations,” Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said this morning ahead of tonight’s game against the Capitals.

“For a young player, he’s been real consistent.”

Desjardins wasn’t sure if Hutton’s eye-opening preseason performance would carry on into the games that count. The skepticism was understandable. There just aren’t many fifth-round draft picks that go straight from college to the NHL, with only four AHL games in between.

Yet Hutton has dressed in all six games for the Canucks. He has three assists and 15 shots on goal while averaging 18:50 of ice time.

“I didn’t personally know who he was,” his defense partner, Luca Sbisa, said earlier this month. “Nobody really knew who he was.”

They know him now.

Related: Young Blues d-men Edmundson, Parayko have impressed