Ben Hutton to TOR— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 12, 2021
Ben Hutton is a defenceman who has a cap hit of $950,000, and that will fit into the LTIR space if necessary to provide depth defence insurance against having to go deep down the depth chart to cover injuries.
He played for years in Vancouver, has never been particularly good but plays a traditional big-man heavy-stick game. He is 27, and a left shot.
As Hutton moved from the Canucks to the Kings and then Anaheim, his usage declined, showing the relative strength of the Pacific division teams (all bad).
By the HockeyViz model, he has never had a good impact on defensive results, and has been largely negative offensively until he got away from Vancouver. The Canucks used to use him on the power play, no one else would do that.
He never shoots the puck, has no shooting skill, and therefore no points to speak of. Puck-handling is not his role. He’s a blueline presence offensively, and a clear-the-net-front presence defensively.
He has some PK ability, and a very small impact overall on Expected Goals For according to Evolving Hockey, making him a replacement-level niche player. Or about the best you can usually hope to draft with a pick significantly better than a fifth-rounder.
Hutton was drafted in the fifth round in 2012, 147th overall. He expires as a UFA. He does not meet the exposure requirements for the expansion draft without a contract for next year.