With the seventh pick in the 2018 draft, the Vancouver Canucks selected left-handed defenceman Quinn Hughes from the University of Michigan.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 23, 2018
Hughes fell to the Canucks at No. 7 as the Arizona Coyotes went completely off the board with the fifth overall pick selecting Barrett Hayton. Hughes is an undersized but tremendously gifted offensive defenceman. He put up 29 points in 37 games as the youngest player in the NCAA last season.
I’ve been following Hughes for two years now and I feel comfortable saying that Quinn Hughes is one of the smoothest, most effortless skaters I’ve ever seen… at any level. When we talk about skating, there are a number of different elements we look at: top speed, acceleration, edgework, etc. Hughes has it all. Watching Hughes rush the puck up the ice is a sight to behold. He consistently uses his superior skating ability to create separation between him and his opponents. His edge control is so vastly superior to most of his peers that he is able to quickly turn or pivot and end up two or three strides ahead of a pressuring attacker.
When looking at the body of work, Hughes has separated himself from the pack. Outside of the obvious choice at first overall, Hughes is the defenceman with the best chance at being a truly special talent. If there’s any justice in this world, he’ll be the first player at that position to hear his name called after Rasmus Dahlin on draft day.