Top 5 defensemen prospects the St. Louis Blues to consider in the 2024 NHL Draft

The St. Louis Blues have a glaring need for blueliners, and the 2024 NHL Draft is a perfect spot for general manager Doug Armstrong to find future stars.
U18 Five Nations Tournament
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Cole Hutson, LD/USDP

Fun Fact: Cole Hutson will celebrate his 18th birthday on Day 1 of the 2024 draft, and perhaps Doug Armstrong will gift him with a phone call, where he will become part of the Blues system. Like Kiviharju, Hutson is undersized, with decent length at 5’10. However, he’s also just 159 lbs. 

That said, give him a few seasons at Boston University, where he will play starting in 2024-25, and there it’s all but a guarantee that he will grow into his frame. Hutson hasn’t suffered injuries the same way Kiviharju has, and that could make him the overall better pick here. 

This has allowed him to provide a greater sample size, and it’s something we saw in full force this season in the NTPD when he logged 46 points and 13 goals in 48 games. Through 19 USHL matchups, Hutson also produced 12 points with a trio of goals, and he also put up two points per game for Team USA at the World Juniors-18. 

But don’t let his overall scoring fool you. There are plenty of quirks to Hutson’s game, as Tony Ferrari of The Hockey News pointed out in November, and it’s clear that he must master smaller areas like winning puck battles and reading the game better before he’s even remotely ready for the pro ranks. But that’s what you will see him working on with the Terriers for up to four seasons.