In his latest article for The Athletic, Vancouver Canucks analyst J.D. Burke takes stock of the team’s offseason and ranks the players best served and worst served as a result of offseason changes. One player in desperate need of a change of scenery is defenseman Ben Hutton, argues Burke. In fact, Burke reports that the Canucks have tried, multiple times, to trade Hutton but have been unable to find any takers.
Does anyone on the Canucks more desperately need a change of scenery than Ben Hutton? When he first arrived in Vancouver, everything went great. Hutton surprised everyone in training camp and stole a roster spot; he then followed that up with a 25-point rookie season. In the two seasons that followed, Hutton’s production dropped to 19 points, then six last season. So too has Hutton’s ice time seemingly fallen off a cliff.
Back in January, Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun reported that the Canucks were listening to offers on Hutton, but again nothing came of the report.
Now, in the dog days of the summer and with the Canucks blue line seemingly set for 2018-19, do things change for Hutton and the Canucks? The Canucks already have veterans Alex Edler, Chris Tanev, Michael Del Zotto and Erik Gudbranson in the lineup, with youngsters Troy Stecher, Derrick Pouliot and Olli Juolevi all vying for ice time, as well. Something’s got to give and Hutton may find himself on the outside looking in if the Canucks can’t find a new home for him this offseason.
Hutton burst onto the scene for the Canucks during the 2015-16 season, earning a full time spot on the team after a surprisingly strong training camp and preseason. The rookie would go on to score 25 points in 75 games that season, but he has regressed significantly in the two seasons since. Last year Hutton managed just six assists in 61 games. Ouch. The good news is that Hutton is just 25 years old and his past history indicates that he's capable of putting up decent offensive numbers if put in the right situation. Unfortunately for him, it doesn't appear that the right situation will materialize in Vancouver anytime soon.