Quinn Hughes lobbied Canucks to move up and draft brother

Younger sibling Jack tabbed No. 1 overall by New Jersey Devils

VANCOUVER — Quinn Hughes wasn’t about to give his younger brother much advice heading into the NHL draft.

Sure, Hughes had been there before, having been taken seventh overall by the Vancouver Canucks last year. But he knew his brother’s experience was going to be markedly different.

Speculation had been rife for months that Jack Hughes would be this year’s No. 1 pick.

“It’s not a big difference but it is a big difference, the hype and everything like that,” Quinn said last week before the big event. ”But I don’t think he’s needed much help or anything like that.”

He didn’t.

Jack Hughes was first off the board on Friday night, selected by the New Jersey Devils. The brothers had, however, talked about the possibility of ending up on the same NHL team.

“Maybe down the road,” Jack said. “Right now we’re going to be looking forward to beating each other next year.”

Canucks general manager Jim Benning said Quinn Hughes did lobby to have Vancouver switch picks and make a run at his brother.

“Yeah, I had conversations, but they didn’t last long,” Benning said.

READ MORE: Devils tab Jack Hughes with No. 1 pick in 2019 NHL entry draft

Jack Hughes has drawn awe for his speed and style, but Quinn thinks there’s something else that sets him apart.

“Obviously he’s very skilled on the skating, hockey sense, hands, everything like that. But how competitive he is, I’ve always thought that’s the big difference in him. He doesn’t care who he’s playing, he’s going to go at you,” Quinn said.

“He’s so dialled in. I don’t know what normal teenagers do, but he’s dialled in, he’s working out in the morning, getting the right sleep and rest and food and everything like that.”

Jack said that drive and work ethic comes from his dad, Jim Hughes, who’s long worked in coaching and player development, including for the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs.

“You’ve got to give things, sacrifice things to be the best. That’s what we’ve always done and will continue to do,” Jack said.

The Hughes brothers honed their work ethic in the U.S. National Team Development Program, where Jack tallied 34 goals and 78 assists last season. He was one of eight players from the program taken in the first round of this year’s draft.

The program provides an intensive environment for players who truly want to excel, Quinn said.

But it’s nothing like the life of a normal teen.

“When I was there at 15, we were getting up at 7, getting ready for school, going to the rink at 12, having study hall for an hour, working out, skating, then we had this military guy that would put us through some push ups. We wouldn’t be home until like 7:30 (p.m.),” he said.

“You’re like 15 years old and no one else is doing that. And you do that for two years and all of the sudden your game takes off.”

The youngest Hughes brother, Luke, is set to join the development program this year. His brothers have no doubt that he’ll soon be following in their footsteps at the NHL draft.

“He’s going to be a hell of a player. He’s big, can skate, can think,” Jack said. “He’s pretty much a clone of Quinn, two or three inches bigger. It’s pretty exciting.”

READ MORE: NHL Draft Day 2: Canucks load up on prospects, Subban dealt to Devils

For now, though, there are two Hughes brothers linked to NHL franchises.

Quinn Hughes played five games with the Canucks last season after finishing an impressive collegiate career at the University of Michigan.

Jack Hughes is expected to join the Devils this fall.

Already, the brothers are thinking about playing each other next season.

“It’s going to be higher stakes. It’s going to be really special,” Jack said. ”My mom is going to be really nervous. But all my family will watch. My friends will watch. It will be a really special game. It will be something to look back on.”

Though Jack Hughes was only drafted on Friday, talk has already swirled about the pair competing for next year’s Calder Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL’s top rookie.

There’s one person, however, who isn’t ready to entertain such thoughts.

“Man, we’re a long way from that,” Jack said. ”I haven’t played a game in the national league. I’m not too worked up about that.”

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COLUMN | Creating a “community of practice” inspires

Art Matters by columnist Sarah Zimmerman

Hockey puck with nails found at Terrace Sportsplex Arena

City believes it has already caused $4,000 of damage

Kitselas First Nation receives $1.2M boost for apprenticeship development program

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education announces $7.5M for six Indigenous training programs

Terrace Skating Club takes home 24 medals from regional championships

Skaters claim top spot for fifth year in a row

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Mayors call for ‘calmness’ as highway rockslide cuts Tofino, Ucluelet off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Most Read