When the Canucks nabbed Quinn Hughes seventh overall in the 2018 NHL Draft it was a bit of a surprise to most onlookers. With the likes of Noah Dobson and Evan Bouchard projected by many to be the second and third defencemen taken behind Rasmus Dahlin, Vancouver didn’t hesitate to jump on the player it thought would become the better NHLer.
After the pick, Canucks GM Jim Benning explained his excitement by citing the dynamism in Hughes’ game and how well it would complement the rest of their collection of high-end prospects. Hughes himself said he believed he could step in and help the Canucks “right now.”
So when the decision was made to return to the University of Michigan for his sophomore season, no one expected he would be staying for his full term of eligibility. And you can tell by his dominance at that level, with 20 points in 17 games that ranks second among all NCAA defencemen, that he is ready to take another step.
Currently at Team USA’s world junior selection camp ahead of the big international tournament this month, Hughes appeared on the FAN 650’s Starting Lineup in Vancouver and was asked if he would consider signing a contract with the NHL club once his college season came to a close.