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 

NHL

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

Just Posted

Forest industry supporters and convoy arrive at B.C. legislature

Rally delivers petition in favour of ‘working forests’

2020 is another banner year for Port Alberni

Painted banners will be hung up in the Rotary Arts District this summer

Port Alberni’s Special Olympic skaters head to BC Winter Games

Four skaters from Port Alberni will head to Fort St. John to… Continue reading

Alberni bowler proves that age is just a number

Maurice Bernier will be the oldest athlete at the Special Olympics nationals in Thunder Bay

Toronto Maple Leaf alumni face off against Alberni team in charity hockey game

PAACL team ready to face former NHLers in Inclusion Cup

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Nanaimo man wins lotto, plans to buy $16,000 fridge

Curtis Wright a winner in Lotto 6/49 draw

Three protesters arrested after blocking driveway at premier’s home

Protestors claimed they would make a citizen’s arrest of the Premier, according to West Shore RCMP

Budget 2020: B.C. adds tax to sweet drinks and sodas

All soda, vending machine drinks will be subject to higher PST

Budget 2020: B.C. unveils new grant for students, phases out debt-relief program

For the first time, diploma, certificate students qualify for yearly post-secondary grant

Budget 2020: B.C. NDP taps top tax bracket for more revenue

Minimum wage set to pass $15 an hour by 2021

Most Read