Wilmington, MA --
Bruins fans watching the 2008 NHL draft in Ottawa could not possibly forget the ear to ear grin and excited expression gracing the face of the 18-year old player taken in the third round with the 77th overall pick -- Michael Hutchinson
However, the chances are good that if you found Michael in the crowd previous to his being selected, that trademark smile was absent.
“The draft was really nerve-wracking,” he said. “When you finally hear your name called it’s a great relief.”
The draft may have been “nerve-wracking” for the young man nicknamed “Hutch,” but a quick look at his stats ensures that opponents were thinking the same thing about facing him in the net.
Hutchinson had a breakout season in 2007-08 when he led his hometown Barrie Colts over Brampton in the playoffs. A .941 save-percentage in eight playoff games was second in the OHL and he finished the regular season with a 3.02 GAA and a .912 percentage in 32 games after playing only 14 contests the previous year.
Despite the recent success, the 6’3, 185-pound goaltender from Barrie, Ontario came into this year’s Bruins Development Camp with a quiet, but eager disposition.
“It was amazing,” said the goalie of his first week in a pro camp. “It was a great week and its something that you’re going to look back on for years to come.
“I don’t think I could have asked for more.”
Hutchinson used the ensuing adrenaline to put forth a very respectable performance in net as the youngest goalie in camp.
“I felt that at the start of the week, it was just getting adjusted to the speed of the game,” he explained. “I felt that towards the end of the week that I really improved and started feeling more comfortable.”
While facing what seemed like hundreds of shots of his peers and scooping up rebounds away from pressing forwards, Hutchinson was able to rub shoulders with some already well known figures in the Bruins system, namely goaltender Manny Fernandez.
“I got to talk to him a little bit and he gave me some good advice,” said Michael. “It really helped out and it was really welcoming.”
Hutchinson wasted no time in thinking about one day donning the classic Black & Gold in the TD Banknorth Garden.
“I’m looking forward to the chance to one day play in Boston,” said Hutchinson. “I’m pretty fortunate to come here.”