Quinn and Jack Hughes readying for rookie seasons in the NHL
Quinn Hughes, left, will still be a rookie after playing only five games with the Canucks last season. Jack, right, is not content with lacing up his skates in the NHL. The goal, he said, is “about wanting to be one of the best players once you get there.”
Jack and Quinn Hughes will be two of the most watched rookies in the NHL this season.
Jack, of course, was the first overall pick, by the New Jersey Devils, in June’s NHL draft, while brother Quinn made his NHL debut late last season after signing with the Vancouver Canucks – who took him seventh overall in the 2018 draft – after he completed his sophomore season and collegiate career at the University of Michigan. Despite his five games with the Canucks in 2018-19, Quinn will still officially be a rookie this season.
The 19-year-old defenseman, who turns 20 in mid-October, says the experience last season was invaluable.
“It was huge for me. I kind of know what to expect, I’m not guessing anymore,” Quinn said on the NHL Players Association website about getting a head start on his NHL career. “At the end of last year, I was saying, ‘I wish there were 30 more games to go.’ But that wasn’t the case, so I’m really excited to get there.”
Jack, an 18-year-old center, is not content with being the first overall pick and lacing up his skates in the NHL.
“It’s really rewarding, but the goal is not just about getting there,” Jack said. “It’s about wanting to be one of the best players once you get there.”
Said Quinn: “It’s satisfying, but I think we both have our own goals in our heads. We know this isn’t the end goal and we want to have really good careers, so I don’t think either of us are satisfied yet.”
Both brothers got an up-close look at three players with pretty good NHL careers earlier in the summer. They traveled to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to train with Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche and Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins.
“It was crazy because you grow up watching these guys and idolizing them, but then you realize you have to stop fanboying when you’re on the ice with them,” Jack said. “You realize when you’re training with them that soon you’re going to start competing against them on a daily basis. So, I mean, it was a cool experience, but at the same time, it teaches you to be more focused as well.”
Quinn looks forward to his first NHL game against his younger brother.
“I haven’t really thought about it too much because I’m just trying to stay day-to-day and think about getting through training camp and the first couple games,” Quinn explained. “When that does come, I’ll be very excited because we’ll probably have a lot of friends and family coming down for it and it should be a good game.”