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2018 NHL Draft Profile: Quinn Hughes

This 18-year-old D-man might be the USA’s newest stud.

COLLEGE HOCKEY: JAN 19 Penn State at Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Quinn Hughes started making a name for himself three years ago when he was an assistant captain on one of the greatest AAA teams in Canada, the Toronto Marlboros. Hughes was one of the youngest players on his team and still recorded 44 points in 74 games. Hughes then managed to record two goals and two assists for four points in five games in the OHL cup.

Hughes went on to play in the USHL the following season and recorded 26 points in 26 games playing for the United States National Development Team. After playing only 26 games in his rookie USHL season, Hughes was then called up to the US National U18 team where he finished the year with 53 points in 65 games. No defenseman in USHL history has posted a higher points-per-game ratio two seasons prior to his draft year.

Hughes is now having quite an exciting year playing for the University of Michigan in the NCAA and has currently recorded 14 points in 21 games playing with players who are a couple of years older than him, including the Sharks’ 2017 first round pick, Josh Norris. Hughes also played in the 2017-2018 World Juniors while being one of the youngest players and recorded three points in seven games.

Hughes is projected to go top ten in the first round of the 2018 NHL draft and will hover between the fifth and seventh overall mark, which is bad news for Sharks fans. Without a trade, it’s unlikely the Sharks will be able to pick him up.


Quinn Hughes is a man of many strengths as he is described as a “Supremely gifted skater and puck-handler who has the ability to control a game from the back end” by ISS Hockey. Hughes is thought of as an offensive D-man, which really shows through his US National Team stats and his rookie season so far in the NCAA. “Furthermore, he reads plays from the back-end similarly to how an elite football quarterback might survey the field,” said Adam Herman of Sporting News, which proves how much of a leader this kid is. Lastly, Hughes’ specialty is gaining the blueline and creating space for himself, while taking on defenders and creating a unique pass or often even a goal.

Areas of Improvement

If there was one thing Hughes would have to clean up, it would be his defensive game. Hughes is a smaller D-man, at only 5-foot-10, but it almost seems like he is scared to go into battles in some plays. Hughes is still only 18-years-old, so he has more time to improve his board battles and net front presence. “I’ve always been the smallest guy on the ice,” Hughes said last year.


This is a 50 second video, which clearly just describes the type of player Quinn Hughes is. He creates space for himself using his speed — quite a remarkable talent for being only an 18-year-old kid who has played against guys much older than him for his whole life.

The third and fifth assists in this video might be some of the most unique passes I have ever seen. Hughes has his head up both times and makes no look passes to his forward for the easy goals.

The crazy thing about this video is the fact that these five assists came in one game and the fact that he was the youngest kid out there. Hughes is going to be quite a fun player to watch in the NHL.