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Bruins can cross Carter Hutton off their list as a backup goalie

Carter Hutton had the best GAA and save percentage in the league last season.tony gutierrez/AP/Associated Press

Should Anton Khudobin find greener pastures elsewhere, the Bruins’ search for Tuukka Rask’s backup will not end at the pads of Carter Hutton.

The well-traveled former UMass Lowell netminder, who had a career year in St. Louis last season, is not considering Boston as his next stop, though the club has expressed interest.

“Boston has been in touch on Hutton, but Carter is looking for an opportunity to be a number one goalie,” his agent, George Bazos, said in an e-mail. “Boston does not have that opportunity for him.”

TSN reported that Buffalo, which let Robin Lehner walk and has AHL prospect Linus Ullmark in reserve, has zeroed in on Hutton to compete for its starting job.


As for other free agent netminders potentially available to the Bruins: TSN also said Detroit has interest in Jonathan Bernier, ex- of the Avalanche, and that Carolina free agent Cam Ward could be Chicago-bound.

Meanwhile, the Bruins and agent Kent Hughes continue to work on a deal for Khudobin, who has numerous teams interested. Given the market, the Bruins would have to more than double the $1.2 million they paid Khudobin the last two years. Hughes shot down rumors that his client’s ask was around $4 million.

Khudobin, age 32 like Hutton, was stellar early last season in relief of a struggling Rask. He finished 16-6-7 with a .913 save percentage and 2.56 goals against average.

Hutton is arguably the top unrestricted free agent goalie on the market, set to receive a pay bump of likely more than $3 million.

In 32 games last season as a backup with the Blues, Hutton went 17-7-3 with a 2.09 GAA and .931 save percentage, leading the league in both categories. He had three shutouts.

Undrafted after four years in Lowell, Hutton spent time with Philadelphia, San Jose, Chicago, and Nashville before St. Louis signed him to a two-year, $2.25 million contract in 2016.


Choosing sides

Olivier Galipeau was the Quebec Major Junior League’s top defenseman last year. He captained his team to a Memorial Cup.

Nice accolades, but Bruins fans will welcome him as a Montreal turncoat.

After winning Canada’s junior championship last year as captain of Acadie-Bathurst, the 6-foot, 203-pound puck-mover was extended an invitation to attend prospect camp in his hometown last weekend. But the Canadiens waffled on a contract offer, and the Bruins sent a one-year AHL deal Tuesday afternoon.

Through his agent, Galipeau informed the Habs he would not be joining them.

“It was a crazy day,” said Galipeau, who arrived for the second half of Wednesday’s drills in Brighton and jumped in with little more than a five-minute warm-up.

Twice, Galipeau has walked out of NHL arenas disappointed after not hearing his name called in the draft. Having an offer in his pocket was his goal, even if it meant spurning the local side.

“They want to develop me and work with me,” Galipeau said of the Bruins. “It’s a good way to start my pro career.

“My family and friends are happy for me. The fans in Montreal, I don’t care about that.”

A 21-year-old left shooter, Galipeau made the most of his overage years in the QMJHL. He helped the Titan win the CHL after the club traded five draft picks to get him. He finished the year with 25 goals and added 49 assists in 67 games, leading the league in goals and points (74) by a defenseman. He added a 5-15—20 line in the QMJHL playoffs and three assists in the Memorial Cup, and won the Emile Bouchard Trophy as the league’s defenseman of the year.


Galipeau also was captain of Val-d’Or in 2016-17 before a trade to Chicoutimi.

“He’s a winner,” said Bruins player development coordinator Jamie Langenbrunner. “Offensive guy. Looks like he can contribute there. He’s just a day in, so hard to get a good read on him yet.

“Any time you’ve been through a stretch of playoffs like that, you understand what it’s about.”

Take your shot

At camp, intriguing center prospect Jack Studnicka has shown a dogged competitiveness, a considerable amount of skill, and a tendency to get a little too fine with his passing.

“I think he’d say it: He needs to keep improving [his shot],” Langenbrunner said. “He is a bit of a pass-first guy. I think his stats would show the same.”

Indeed, Studnicka’s goal totals over his three full seasons with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals — 4, 18, and 22 — back up that assertion. His assists: 22, 34 and 50. Billed as a three-zone center in the mold of Patrice Bergeron, the 53rd overall pick (second round) in last year’s draft is trying to become more of a sniper than setup man.

“He can score, maybe not blowing them back from the top of the circle, per se,” Langenbrunner said. “He gets himself into spots; right now I’d say in that 15-foot area, 10-foot area is where he needs to be.


“He’s still a skinny kid [6-1, 171]. He’s going to put on some strength, and as you go, the shot will get better.”

Studnicka, who heads back to Oshawa if he doesn’t make the Bruins out of September camp, seemingly never gives up on a drill. That attitude should help him in the gym this summer.

Asked where that work ethic originated, he said, “Maybe my older brother beating up on me a little bit.

“I think anything you do, you’ve got to give 100 percent. You always want to give your full effort and never look back, never have any regrets.”

OHL opportunity

Second-round pick Axel Andersson could play in the OHL rather than Sweden, according to a report. Kitchener Rangers general manager Mike McKenzie, who took Andersson 51st in the CHL Import Draft Thursday, told the Waterloo Region (Ontario) Record he feels there is a “strong chance” Andersson suits up for the club this season. Andersson’s agent is short-time Bruin Michael Nylander . . . Langenbrunner, the former Stars and Devils forward retired since 2014, jokingly offered his services as a veteran scorer should the Bruins strike out on John Tavares — at a bargain-basement “$10 million, $11 million a year,” Langenbrunner proposed.