Brian "Boom Boom" McCutcheon came up through the junior ranks in Toronto but was not drafted by an NHL team. Following high school he enrolled at Cornell University where he played in the NCAA. In his rookie year the team's goaltender was Ken Dryden, who was then a senior. In 1970 he was a member of Cornell's NCAA championship team and was inducted into the Cornell Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.
In September, 1971 McCutcheon signed a pro contract with the Detroit Red Wings. He played for three teams called the Wings that year, unfortunately none was Detroit. He played with the Fort Worth Wings of the CHL, the Tidewater Red Wings of the AHL and the Port Huron Wings of the IHL and then in 1972-73 it was the Virginia Wings.
In 1973-74 McCutcheon made the decision to play for a season in Britain. He appeared in 71 games with the London Lions, scoring 47 goals and 75 points. Although it was clear the overall talent level was lower than in North America, the strong offensive output did a lot for McCutcheon's lagging confidence in his game.
McCutcheon returned to North America and got his first chance to play in the NHL in 1974-75 with Detroit. He contributed three goals and four points in 17 games. The following year he was called up for another eight games, but saw very little ice time and remained off the scoresheet. He played his final year in the NHL in 1976-77, getting the call for another 12 games as an injury replacement, but again was held pointless.