Vancouver’s star rookie Quinn Hughes returned to the lineup this past Monday. Hughes was out with a bruised knee after an awkward sequence removed him from last week’s game in Anaheim. Hughes made an impressive return securing Vancouver’s lone goal against the defending Stanley Cup champs.
Quinn Hughes has done nothing but impress at the NHL level thus far. In his initial showcase at the end of 2018-19 season Hughes put up 3 assists in his 5 games. The skilled defenceman has only improved on that during this season, having 2 goals and 11 points in 14 games at the moment.
A masterfully placed slapshot from the point gave Hughes his second career goal against the Blues in his return. Vancouver was in an all-out-war against the St. Louis, both teams were defensively solid and each team scored only once in regulation. Although the Canucks ultimately lost the game in overtime they looked like a much more complete team with Quinn on the ice. Arguably the greatest quality Quinn brings is his effect on the powerplay. Vancouver was only able to obtain one powerplay goal in his absence – their powerplay significantly improves with Hughes.
As the 7th overall selection Quinn Hughes was a steal. GM Jim Benning snatched Quinn Hughes up after he was passed on. Less successful players went before Hughes including: Filip Zadina, Barret Hayton and Jesperi Kotkanemi.
It is undeniable that Quinn Hughes has made a massive impact on this Canucks roster and on the NHL. Hughes has surpassed most projections and is on pace to continue on this trend in the near future. At the moment he is second in in the Calder Trophy race, first is fellow offensive defence phenom Cale Makar. If Quinn Hughes can continue this trend he will be the third consecutive Canuck to be in the best rookie conversation. Brock Boeser was a runner-up to Matthew Barzal in the 2017-18 Calder race even though he missed 20 games. Last year Elias Pettersson reigned atop all rookies with 66 points in only 71 games. Quinn Hughes is only adding to that narrative.
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