March 9th, 2022 will be a day Matthew Hutchison remembers for a long time as the 15-year-old made his WHL debut for the Vancouver Giants versus the Spokane Chiefs. Although it did not result in a win, the experience is something he will never forget.
“It was awesome! It was something I’ve been dreaming about ever since I was little so for it to come true was a really good experience. It didn’t end exactly the way we wanted but the whole experience was really good. It was great learning and being able to be there. All the guys were really supportive and really great through the whole process. It’s good to have that experience and transfer it to the next opportunity to play.”
It was a wild few days for the 50th overall pick from the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft leading up to his WHL debut. After concluding a game in the BCHL with the Cowichan Valley Capitals, the pride of Nanaimo BC was told to get packed and head to Kelowna as the Giants needed a backup for their game against the Rockets due to an injury sustained by Jesper Vikman.
“It was pretty frantic. I came off the ice after the game ended in Cowichan and my dad leaned over the railing and said we gotta get out quick and pack our bags because we gotta catch the first ferry in the morning. It was a bit frantic at the house that night getting everything ready but once we got over to the mainland, it was all good.”
A big reason why Hutchison is a goaltender is his father. For those who do not know, he is the son of David Hutchison who helps run the popular website InGoal Magazine. Matthew credits a lot of his early success to his parents who have been every step of the way helping him achieve his dream.
“ He was the one who got me into the game of hockey and was my goalie coach all the way up until about two years ago. He’s obviously meant the most throughout the whole process of growing up through hockey and eventually making the steps to the next levels. Both he and my mom have meant so much throughout this whole process.”
While Hutchison doesn’t base his game off one specific goaltender, he did have a favourite goaltender growing up and that was BC legend Carey Price.
“ Carey Price was always my guy growing up. Just the way he plays, how calm he is, how he can handle the puck, it’s on another level. That was the guy for me that I look up to.”
As the season comes to a close, Hutchison hopes he can continue to develop with the Giants which could lead to a spot on the team next season. Both Vikman and Will Gurski may not be back with the team next season due to them both being overagers. This recent call-up is a great opportunity for him to show the Giants he has what it takes to contribute to the club next season.
“ I am taking it one day at a time. While I’m here, I’m taking in all the experience I can get and that will transfer over into the summer where all the work is going to happen. We will see how it goes but really, it’s taking it day by day and focusing on what I can.”
The Vancouver Giants have a special kid in Hutchison, and one that could help continue the gold standard of goaltending the Giants have had throughout their history. Being a WHLer at 15 is a challenge for some, but based on his calm demeanor on and off the ice, it looks like he will be up for whatever opportunities are thrown at him whether it be this season or in the future.