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Who is Ben Hutton?

Sunday, 01.07.2012 / 7:25 PM / Features
By Derek Jory
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Who is Ben Hutton?

With the 147th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Vancouver Canucks selected Ben Hutton.

Who?

Good question.

I took to Google for the answer and found the following information: according to Wikipedia, Ben Hutton is a 35-year-old retired English cricketer from South Africa; Ben Hutton runs a religious site that recommends good sermons to listen to; there are 21 Linkedin profiles for various Ben Huttons (one who owns his own magic shop!); and the Ben Hutton on Twitter describes himself as a “Geek, Techie, Programmer, Writer, Student, Gamer, Creator, Drummer, Music Love.”

How Vancouver’s scouts obtained information on the true Ben Hutton, I’ll never know.

Dig a little deeper online and there is some information on the 6-foot-2, 185-pound, 19-year-old defenceman from Prescott, Ontario, who is attending the Canucks 2012 Prospect Summer Development Camp, but not much.

Stats? Sure. He split last season between the Kemptville 73s and Nepean Raiders of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), recording 11 goals and 32 assists in 57 games. Prior to that he was with the 73s for one CCHL season and two in the CJHL, and before that, well, who knows.

Who knows was the question of the day when camp began, as in who knows where I can find Ben Hutton?

His fellow camp prospects were no help at the time, not that they were to blame. Remembering 34 other names right off the hop wasn’t expected of the players.

So I camped out in the dressing room in front of the Hutton stall looking for answers. When he arrived, the International Man of Mystery shed some light on his journey to Vancouver.

“Growing up my dad put me in every sport possible, I liked hockey the most, stuck with it and it brought me here,” smiled Hutton, revealing the intricate details of his life story.

Case closed. Now you know.

“I’m actually a forward turned defenceman,” said Hutton, throwing me a bone. “I played forward the whole way up and then one year in major midget I played defenceman because they were short a man. I was good at it, so I stayed on D. I thought I was stronger there and my coach agreed and I’ve been there ever since.”

As Hutton worked his way through the hockey ranks, he realized the NHL could be an option, albeit a farfetched one. Being passed over in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft didn’t help his confidence, but he returned to the ice last season with renewed passion for the game.

Career-high numbers were the result, as was a roster spot on the team representing Canada East at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge. Hutton was the tournament’s second highest scoring defenceman helping pace Canada East to a silver medal finish.

There was no more flying under the radar for Hutton after that, the number of phone calls he received from NHL teams and universities reflected that.

Still, Hutton remained pessimistic heading into the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Ranked 200th among North American skaters, Hutton wasn’t about to get his hopes up on draft day, so he ignored it.

When Laurence Gilman called Hutton’s name on the second day of the 2012 Draft, the avid fisherman was on the water near Spencerville, Ontario, trying to reel in a bass.

Hutton said the bass was huge, but it didn’t compare to the text message he got from a friend.

“I was focused on the fish and I just kept getting vibrations on my phone and I looked at it and one text from my buddy said that I had been drafted by Vancouver and then I just threw the rod to my friend to bring the fish in.”

Hutton landed the fish and the Canucks landed the prospect, one who has been soaking in everything he can this week at prospects camp.

“It’s pretty overwhelming, but it’s great. Especially in the weight room, they’ve been giving us tips and I’m going to bring those home and roll with it and get a lot stronger. That’s the weakest part of my game; I need to bulk up, which will only help me as a puck moving defenceman. I like to jump up in the rush when I can and put the puck in the net once and a while, so hopefully strength will elevate that.”

Next up for Hutton is the University of Maine, which he has verbally committed to attend on a scholarship beginning fall 2012. As a member of the Black Bears, Hutton will again be looked upon to play in all situations on the ice, while pursuing a Business Degree in the classroom.

Also, Hutton is a Taurus, he has a 22-year-old sister named Maggie, his parents Jim and Janet are proud of him and he smiles more than anyone at development camp.

Now you know Ben Hutton.