By GREGG DRINNAN
Daily News Sports Editor
Killian Hutt hasn’t played in a hockey game since Dec. 10.
He just hopes that doesn’t turn out to be the last game of his career.
Hutt, 20, was released by the Swift Current Broncos on Thursday, seven months after he suffered a severe concussion in a game against the Kamlooops Blazers at Interior Savings Centre.
Hutt, who was preparing to take a shot on goal, was run over in the slot by Blazers forward Jordan DePape. Hutt, an Edmonton native, crumpled to the ice, tried to get up, fell back down and went into convulsions. He ended up spending the night in Royal Inland Hospital and, although he rejoined the Broncos later in the season, he never played again. The WHL suspended DePape for five games.
Hutt finished with 18 points, including 10 goals, in 26 games with the Broncos, who acquired him from the Regina Pats early in the season.
Mark Lamb, the Broncos’ general manager and head coach, said Thursday that he hated to release Hutt but that “it’s a numbers game . . . I feel bad for him that way.”
Hutt’s departure still leaves the Broncos with five 20-year-olds — forwards Brad Hoban, Jordan Peddle, Taylor Vause and Dillon Wagner, and defenceman Kyle Verdino. Each team has to be down to a maximum of three 20-year-olds by Oct. 13.
Hutt has cleared WHL waivers so is a free agent and eligible to play in the OHL or QMJHL.
Hutt couldn’t be reached for comment last night, but Lamb said the veteran of three WHL seasons definitely wants to play again. Lamb also said that Hutt has received medical clearance to resume playing.
“He has been playing roller hockey,” Lamb said. “I was really hoping someone would pick him up.
“He has big-time (skill). He’s a lot better than a lot of people know. I didn’t know he was that good. . . . Anybody who calls me, I’ll give him a good reference. He was good for us.”
Hutt was injured in a game that spelled the beginning of the end for the Broncos’ playoff chances.
Not only was that Hutt’s last game with the Broncos, it was the last time centre Cody Eakin suited up. He left for the Canadian national junior team and then was traded to the Kootenay Ice.
“(Hutt) fit in really well when we still had Eakin and when we weren’t beat up yet,” Lamb stated. “We finished that road trip in Edmonton and had 12 players at the end. It turned into a disaster.”
The Broncos, who looked like a solid playoff contender going into that trip, finished 26-44-2, which left them 13 points out of the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot.
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