Boston University Defenseman Lane Hutson Is Recipient of 71st Walter Brown Award as New England’s Best American-Born Division One Hockey Player

Only the Second Freshman Ever, 36 Years after Hockey Hall of Famer Brian Leetch in 1987; BU Coach Jay Pandolfo was Walter Brown Winner in 1996

BOSTON – March 30, 2023– Gridiron Club of Greater Boston president Cheryl Duddy Schoenfeld announced today that Boston University freshman defenseman Lane Hutson is recipient of the 71st  Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born Division One college hockey player in New England.

The 5-10, 155-pound Hutson earned a slew of honors in his first season on Commonwealth Avenue.  He is the first defenseman ever to lead Hockey East in scoring, tallying nine goals and 25 assists in league play. He was a unanimous choice for All-League First All-Star team and the conference’s Rookie of the Year. The 29-10 Terriers won both the Hockey East regular season and playoff championships. They will face 28-9-1 Minnesota in the semifinal round of the Frozen Four in Tampa, Florida on April 6.  The other semifinal pits 32-4-3 Quinnipiac against 26-11-3 Michigan.

Nationally, Hutson ranked seventh overall in scoring with 15 goals and 33 assists for 48 points in 38 games.   He was the nation’s top-scoring defenseman and was named a semifinalist for the Hobey Baker Award. A resident of North Barrington, Illinois, he played for the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 Team before enrolling at BU. He was selected in the second round of the 2022 National Hockey League draft by the Montreal Canadiens. His brother Quinn, also a BU freshman, had a solid rookie season as well with 15 goals and 13 assists.  

“Congratulations to Lane on winning such a prestigious award. There were many deserving candidates for this honor, and for Lane to stand out as he has is a testament to his talent as well as to his work ethic and competitiveness. What Lane has achieved is even more impressive when you remember he’s only a freshman and he’s playing as a defenseman in arguably the best conference in college hockey,” said BU coach Jay Pandolfo.

“Our whole program is proud of Lane for what he’s accomplished in such a short timeframe here at BU, and we’re excited to share in his continued success,” continued Pandolfo, who received the Walter Brown Award in 1996 when he led BU to the Hockey East regular-season title and was named the league’s Player of the Year.

The two other finalists from the field of 25 semifinalists were Quinnipiac sophomore forward Collin Graf (Lincoln, MA) and Harvard junior forward Sean Farrell (Hopkinton, MA). Graf ranked third in the nation in scoring with 20 goals and 36 assists for 56 points. Farrell was right behind him at fourth in the nation with 20-33-53.

“While it is highly unusual for a freshman to be considered for the Walter Brown Award, sometimes a candidate is so outstanding that the choice in as easy one. That was the case with Lane Hutson. But you have to go back 36 years, to 1987, before you find another first-year player, Brian Leetch,  who subsequently went on to an 18-year NHL Hall of Fame career,” commented committee chairman Tim Costello.

The nation’s oldest nationally-recognized college hockey honor, the Walter Brown Award was established in 1953 by the members of the 1933 Massachusetts Rangers, the first American team ever to win the World Championship Tournament. Brown coached the Rangers to the title in Prague, Czechoslovakia, where the team defeated Canada 2-1 in overtime in the championship game. The Walter Brown Award will be presented at the New England Hockey Writers’ annual event on Wednesday, April 19, at Prince Restaurant in Saugus.

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