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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bruins prospect profile #14: Michael Hutchinson

Michael Hutchinson, G
6-3, 190
March 2, 1990
Catches: Right
Boston's 3rd choice, 77th overall in 2008 Draft
Signing status: Signed through 2013

Talent Analysis

Physical: Big, lean frame takes up a lot of the net. Excellent size and athleticism for the position. Still adding muscle and mass to his body, but will be able to stand up well to net-crashers and heavy traffic outside his crease. Quick, instinctive goalie who is a prototype player for the modern age. Moves well laterally and goes down into a compact butterfly. Recovery from the down position is very good. Quick pads; stays square to the shooter and is tough to beat down low. Could stand to improve economy of motion and positioning. The rare right-handed catcher; pretty good glove hand. Good puckhandler who can clear the puck himself or move it up to the 'D' quickly. An all-around physical specimen who has the look of a good, solid NHL netminder one day but who still needs to tweak and refine his game. He had a solid, productive year with the Knights, but might return to junior for an overage year if Boston can't find room for him on the farm.

Intangibles: One of the nicest kids you'll meet; relaxed and personable-- genuinely enjoys playing the position. Can get into a zone and is nearly unbeatable when he does. Earned a third-round draft grade when he stoned the heavily-favored Brampton Battalion in the '08 playoffs while a member of the Barrie Colts. Handled the pressure of playing in London last season well enough, but consistency is still the biggest shortcoming in his game. Needs to find an element of intensity and focus and build on it, as he's skilled enough to be a player at the next level. He played pretty well in his rookie pro season all things told, and is building on a strong body of work.

Boston Bruins 2011 Development Camp assessment

For the second consecutive year, Hutch was the best of Boston's four goalies at the D-Camp. He got off to a good start (despite getting cold-cocked by Jared Knight in the first skating session and missing the rest of the ice time- he was fine), and stayed consistent throughout. When on his game, he's tough to beat and against the prospects, they didn't get many pucks by him. He has nothing more to gain from these camps- this was his fourth as a participant and he should be ready for a solid AHL season as Anton Khudobin's backup.

Mike Hutchinson 2011 Development Camp interview

video

Projection

Hutchinson has the makings of a solid backup at the NHL level. His fundamentals are sound, but he is still a long way off from seriously competing for an NHL job. He beat out Matt Dalton and Adam Courchaine for AHL work last season, starting in Providence, going down to Reading of the ECHL and then working his way back up to Providence to close out the year. If he can address some of the consistency that's been lacking in his game over the past couple of seasons, he has a chance to open some eyes, because there are no real physical flaws there. He's a middle-tier prospect who has the potential to move up on the depth chart because of the things he does so well, but after seeing Tuukka Rask in the Boston system over the past several years, there is a clear distinction with Hutchinson in terms of ability and upside: he's a cut below. The Bruins can afford to be patient with Hutchinson, but something eventually will need to give, as Khudobin is more of a workhorse-type goalie. Hutch does give the Bruins some peace of mind if their goaltending depth chart took a major hit, and with his drive and competitiveness to go with his prototypical size, he could turn some heads this season and next.

Quotable

" Hutch [Michael Hutchinson] has got some areas that Bob’s [Essensa] really focusing on. He’s a big kid, moves well, made a nice play with the puck, he does have good puck skills. So we are, I mean as much as other teams get a book and shooters get a book, I think Bob’s got a real good feel for what Mike needs to work on and he’s starting to deliver that message. You know, it was a challenging year for Hutch last year, you know, he was up and down a little bit between there and the coach, just balancing out, getting him the ideal playing time, the number of shots that we wanted to see. You’re not going to work on some of that stuff in practice, you have to play games. And that’s music to Allen Iverson’s ears, but, you know, for the most part, we’re happy with the year of development, but he’s got to continue to work on those areas that Bob and he have identified."- Bruins Assistant GM Don Sweeney; July 10, 2011

"(I want to see) Consistency. All the second year guys, they, every first year player goes through it, it’s very rare you find a guy that has a, you know, that goes like this all year and climbs a little bit, there’s usually some peaks and valleys and he had his. He’s a more mature, he’s a mature guy for his age, as far as goaltenders go, because sometimes you know, you hear it all the time that goaltenders can be a little goofy but I find him to be mature for his age. Pretty focused guy, hard worker, it’s just a matter of that big body and developing his technique and his athleticism to the level that it needs to be. I would assume he’s going to have a good year for us, just because of what I saw last year, because he’s a mature guy, he’ll get better. I don’t think you’ll see him go backwards. I think he’s, like I said, a pretty focused guy."- Providence head coach Bruce Cassidy; July 8, 2011

“I think that each year coming to these I feel more relaxed. This year I came in and right from the start, I felt really comfortable with the speed of the shots and the speed of everything, so I didn’t have that adjustment period for the first couple of days this year. I feel really good about the progress I’ve made so far.”- Michael Hutchinson to hockeyjournal.com, Wilmington, Mass.; July 6-10, 2010

“My goal is not to be back in junior hockey next year. So I’m going to do everything I can this summer to help me take the step to the next level.”- Michael Hutchinson to hockeyjournal.com, Wilmington, Mass.; July 6-10, 2010

“They’re at the biggest disadvantage. They’ve been off their teams and haven’t seen shots n game situations for an extended period of time. They have to knock some rust off. The shooters have the advantage.”- Sweeney, Wilmington, Mass.; July 6-10, 2010

1 comment:

  1. He has a great background it is a pity that he isn't in the first position. Host Pay Per Head were looking forward to him.

    ReplyDelete