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 

Just Posted

Sports Wall of Fame inducts Class of 2019

Patrick Kay, Brian McKinlay, Ted Webb, curling’s Craigs and the Fuller Lake Flyers are honoured

Dive team searching for missing Cowichan fisherman

Bill Court said family and friends are actively engaged in the search

Support group helps Cowichan Valley families living with dementia

No one should have to experience the dementia journey alone.

Local RCMP detachments looking to cut costs

Provincial RCMP budget facing a $10-million deficit

UPDATED: Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Bye bye Bei Bei: Giant panda born in U.S. zoo heads to China

Panda heads back to China as part of cooperative breeding program

Island student lobbies school board for dress code consistency

Jaylene Kuo contacted school trustees after seeing dress guidelines at brother’s school

Bidders down, costs up on Highway 1, B.C. independent contractors say

Rally protests NDP government’s union-only public construction

Members of little people community applaud change to drop ‘midget’ term

‘It’s not about sensitivity,’ says Allan Redford, the president of the Little People of Canada

Little progress in preventing sudden infant deaths since last report: BC Coroner

Coroners panel studied 141 sleep-related sudden infant deaths between 2013 and 2018

B.C.’s ‘Dr. Frankenstein of guns’ back in jail yet again for trafficking in Glock parts

Bradley Michael Friesen has parole revoked for allegedly importing gun parts yet again

B.C. woman suing after laser hair removal leaves her with ‘severe’ burns, scarring

Nadeau felt ‘far more pain’ than usual during the treatment

$2.9 million judgment in B.C. blueberry farm sabotage lawsuit

The new owners saw most of their farm ruined just as they took possession

B.C. to more than double sales tax on vaping products

Tax up from 7 to 20 per cent, tobacco tax up two cents

Most Read