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Lane Hutson, a defenseman for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program Under-18 team, received the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence, the NHL announced Monday.

Hutson (5-foot-8, 158 pounds) is No. 25 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft.

He was named the top defenseman at the 2022 IIHF World Under-18 Championship after having eight assists and a plus-12 rating in six games for the United States, which finished second behind Sweden.

"It was a pretty special moment to earn that honor," Hutson said. "Obviously I had great teammates along with me. Unfortunately, we couldn't get what we all wanted there ... a gold medal."

The E.J. McGuire Award, presented by NHL Central Scouting, is in honor of McGuire, who was director of Central Scouting from 2005 until he died of cancer April 7, 2011.

It's given to the candidate who best exemplifies commitment to excellence through strength of character, competitiveness and athleticism.

NHL Central Scouting chose the E.J. McGuire Award winner in May after careful consideration of nominations from various leagues and the conclusion of the U-18 Worlds.  

A left-hand shot, Hutson led the NTDP U-18 team in assists (53) and was second among defensemen in the United States Hockey League with 1.19 points per game (32 points in 27 games).