Sport NHL Draft 2018: Quinn Hughes 'as valuable as anyone' playing a style his own

18:21  14 june  2018
18:21  14 june  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Here are our tiered 2018 NHL Draft rankings. In my opinion, his ceiling is second only to Dahlin’s, and his floor is just as high as anyone ’s in the draft . Quinn ’s New York State of Mind May 24, 2018 . Blueshirts Breakaway 2018 NHL Draft Prospects Tiered Rankings May 22, 2018 .

Home NHL Draft Quinn Hughes Scouting Report: 2018 NHL Draft #4. In the early 2000s, a player like Hughes would have been looked at as a mid-to-late round pick, with questions as to how his size could translate in the clutch and grab NHL .

WASHINGTON — For John Wreblowski, it wasn’t one moment, but two, that solidified every premonition he had about then 17-year-old defenseman Quinn Hughes.

The first came in October. Wreblowski was the coach of the U.S. National Development Team Program, Hughes one of his players. The collection of American-born standouts had begun its schedule competing with USHL and NCAA teams, but was struggling against the latter.

“We hadn’t won a college game yet. In fact, hadn’t had a sniff in any of the college games,” Wreblowski told Sporting News in a recent phone interview.

Next on the schedule was Minnesota-Duluth, ranked No. 2 nationally with a talented, deep and big group of forwards like Alex Iafallo, now with the Los Angeles Kings, and Riley Tufte of the Dallas Stars.

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Home NHL Draft 2018 NHL Draft - November Rankings and Reports #6-10. His defensive game is based on his anticipation and ability to quickly transition the puck out of his own zone. The size is a liability as Hughes can be outmuscled in his own end.

Quinn Hughes is currently rated ninth on McKenzie’s board, and I’d be trying to move up if he fell While it may be known as a weak draft , the 20th overall pick was likely more valuable than in previous years, so it was a strong draft at certain points. Get to know the top goalies in the 2018 NHL Draft .

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“He was just tremendous defensively in that game,” Wreblowski said of Hughes. “I mean, he’s going against 24-, 25-year-old men, stripping the puck, and breaking us out, and it was amazing to watch: Defensively, someone his size being able to manipulate a bigger, stronger player.”

About six weeks later, the NTDP squad took on the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL. Across the ice was fellow 2018 top draft prospect Andrei Svechnikov.

“You had already seen flashes of it, but he was just dominant that game,” Wreblowski said. “It was the time I’d seen him really just beat the entire opposition.”

One play in particular stood out. Hughes collected the puck in his own end, and began to go coast-to-coast. He blew past one player, and then a second. By the time he reached and gained the offensive blue line, Hughes was in full gallop. As he ascended in on goal, Hughes found his defensive partner Phil Kempe undetected on the back side, and slid him the puck for an easy goal.

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Welcome to the 2018 NHL Entry Draft . 4) LD Quinn Hughes - Michigan (NCAA). He’s one of the best skaters and puck carriers in this draft class, and he can keep up with anyone on the planet.

His effort and leadership are infectious, and he’s capable of playing and producing in a top-line role. 7. LHD Quinn Hughes . The Ottawa Senators own Pittsburgh’s 2018 first-round pick as part of the Derrick Brassard trade.

“He just gave us this dynamic and threw a blueprint out the door in regard to how offensive zone play is normally dictated,” Wreblowski said. “He just has that ability to transcend, and really just think on the fly. It’s truly impressive to watch.”

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Spend 10 minutes chatting with Wreblowski and it’s clear what the coach thinks of his former player. But there’s another layer to that, and in part what makes Hughes such a tantalizing prospect in the 2018 NHL Draft class, but one who is coming in with as many questions as answers.

The way Hughes plays his position is unlike anything evaluators have ever seen before. To call his style unique may not be such a stretch. Trying to draw an NHL comparable might be futile.

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He is often compared to Quinn Hughes , a defenceman of similar size and style , but it’s clear to me that Hughes has pulled ahead in that race. The # 2018 NHLDraft is next month, and one player that's rising in draft rankings is Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Here's his season compared to other top recent Liiga

His quick feet, playmaking ability, hands, and his shot got people excited for the 2018 NHL Draft . The offensive instincts of Rasmus Dahlin shown in the World Juniors scream first overall selection, but some of his defensive liabilities weigh him down a tad. Quinn Hughes .

“He’s going to be that type of player that young kids try to emulate — that they want to be, that they strive to be — but it’s going to be very difficult to duplicate what he does,” Wreblowski said. “With this guy, he’s another generational-type talent, and he’ll be an influence on defensemen for years to come. I truly believe that.”

That is, if Hughes is allowed to be himself.

***

It’s a little before 1 p.m., and Hughes is shepherded into a hallway in the bowels of Capital One Arena. He’s in a blue suit, the type of getup fit for an NHL game day. Puck drop between the Capitals and Golden Knights is only about eight hours away.

“It’s funny, because I’ve been seeing a lot of these guys for years,” Hughes said. To his right is another media scrum, a hoard of reporters surrounding Rasmus Dahlin, the presumptive No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft, and the only defenseman likely to be picked ahead of Hughes. To his right, Svechnikov and Filip Zadina, two of the top-ranked North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

“It’s been cool to get to know all the guys here because they’re all high-end players,” Hughes said. “We should all have long careers.”

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We will be sure to bring similar coverage of the 2018 NHL Draft . If he continues with that type of production his 2018 NHL Draft stock will certainly increase. Quinn Hughes . Rasmus Dahlin.

Quinton “ Quinn ” Hughes (born October 14, 1999) is an American ice hockey defenseman for the University of Michigan of the Big Ten Conference (B1G).

It’s not hard to see where Hughes can fit into an NHL roster. Play is getting faster, having already trended into a speed game, and players of Hughes’ ilk are valuable commodities, crown jewels teams are lucky to mine.

MORE: Why Andrei Svechnikov's star potential is on par with Rasmus Dahlin

But where a new crop of defensemen like Charlie McAvoy, Shayne Gostisbehere and Shea Theodore like to play fast, Hughes pushes the speedometer to a different level.

“You rarely see defensemen traveling north with his just desire, and his knack for being able to get through the neutral zone,” Wreblowski said. “Usually it results in a turnover, but he’s got that — he’s going the knack — and I don’t think that’s going to go away.”

While the NHL is changing in some regards, it’s still a league of systems. And for Hughes, there’s always been a question of whether a coaching staff will truly let him roam free, playing the type of game that has allowed him to get to the point. Or will they saddle him up, rein him in and put shackles on a style that is different than virtually anything that has preceded it?

"They know that the game is translating to what I bring a bit,” Hughes said. “Some teams asked me about my defensive game, some teams think it’s really good.

“I feel confident with my game and how it was over there, so there aren’t any doubts or questions at this points. But still lots to improve on for sure."

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Quinn Hughes excelled at every level he played at this year. His talent with the puck is on par with many of the forwards in this year’s draft . Playing against the professional NHL players Hughes added two more assists.

NHL Draft Software: 2018 Top100 End of the regular season rankings. Scouting evaluation; Skating speed, edge work, shooting, puck control 1. D Rasmus Dahlin 2. LW/RW Andrei Svechnikov 3. LW/RW Filip Zadina 4. RW Oliver Wahlstrom 5. D Adam Boqvist 6. D Quinn Hughes 7. D Noah

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If teams drafting in the top 10, where Hughes is projected to go, had questions about that defensive game, then his past month in Denmark probably helped. Hughes joined Team USA at the 2018 IIHF World Championship. In a tournament flush with current NHL stars, he didn't look out of place.

"You never know how you’re going to do," Hughes said. "Obviously I’m a pretty confident kid so I thought I was going to fit in, but you never know. But like I said, I was really happy, and I’m comfortable with where my game is at right now. It was a good gage for me to see how far away or close I was to the pro guys."

Likewise, Hughes felt USA coach Jeff Blashill was comfortable with what he got out of the teenager on the blue line. And it was a bonus of sorts for Blashill, who doubles as a coach of the Red Wings, as an extended period to evaluate Hughes up close and in person. Detroit holds the sixth pick in the draft, firmly in the range Hughes is projected to be selected. Hughes also played his home games for Michigan last year at Yost Ice Arena, 40 miles east of the Red Wings' rink.

“He’s done a good job of learning the things that he’s gotten away with at the college level that he’s not going to get away with here,” Blashill told Craig Custance of The Athletic during the World Championship . “That’s going to be the most important thing for his development — learning. Can he learn to think a step ahead of the puck before he gets the puck? That’s the biggest thing.”

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If the Wings draft Hughes , the team will likely have him play out another season in the NCAA, and then encourage him to go pro. The argument is do you take Quinn Hughes , or Evan Bouchard? LIVE: Talking about the 2018 NHL Draft , and taking your questions! Posted by Winging It In Motown on

My top 31 draft 2018 . * Players not ranked have not been considered, basically. I especially think he will be so valuable because he plays a offensive style – just like Erik Karlsson – that Quinn Hughes is one of the most entertaining kids in this draft to watch, a fantastic player who you just

2018 UFA RANKINGS: Forwards | Defensemen | Goalies

This is all in a prism some of the biggest questions facing the next phase of Hughes' career. Jumping into the play and making mistakes can leave your team exposed defensively. It's the type of thing that can quickly get you out of a coach's good graces, and strip away the trust factor.

But those moments for Wreblowski were few and far between.

"The young man has just such a knack for when to pick his spots," he said. "His success rate when he’s traveling north, whether he’s throwing a pass to a strong-side winger or jumping through, or even throwing it off the boards to himself and then having the puck continue to advance in a predictable fashion is impeccable. There might be a time and a place where that doesn’t happen, and then a coach is going to have to reign him in a little bit but I don’t think it’s going to happen."

Wreblowski also said that when Hughes did make a mistake, he always had the same recourse.

a man in a baseball uniform: Quinn Hughes © (Getty Images) Quinn Hughes

"When he makes a mistake, my thing with Quinn is, the more you play him, the better he is," he said. "If you put him out and he makes a mistake, well, get him right back out there and he’s going to make up for it. Just keep playing him and keep playing him, and eventually it’s going to reap rewards for you, and he’s going to take over the game."

All of this begs the question (which was posed to Wreblowski): If Hughes is this dominant, this much of a game-changing talent, why isn't he higher in mock drafts, and why isn't he mentioned in the same breath as Dahlin?

"I've never seen Rasmus play so it would be tough for me to comment there," Wreblowski texted back. "But yes I think Hughes will be as valuable as anyone."

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