Photo Credit: University of Michigan

Quintin Hughes will return to University of Michigan this season

With the World Junior Summer Showcase about to kick off, it was announced by the University of Michigan that Quintin Hughes will be returning for the 2018-19 season

The move isn’t surprising as Hughes has only completed his freshman season in the NCAA and should be a workhorse for Michigan this upcoming season. They were able to make it to the Frozen Four but hope to take that next step and capture the NCAA title. Developmentally, there is no harm in Hughes taking his time in the NCAA before making the leaps to the professional ranks.

From the Canucks perspective, this means that they will be returning with the same defensive core that struggled last season. It will be interesting to see if they will make any changes there in the coming months as just hoping that the group will get better won’t be a recipe for success.

You can catch Hughes representing the United States in Kamloops for the WJSS over the next 8 days.

  • truthseeker

    That’s disappointing in my opinion. Would have rather have him get his shot and at least end up in Utica. Too conservative. Again.

    Stop babying prospects.

    • TheRealPB

      I don’t think this is fair. He’s a young guy, defensemen take longer to develop, and I don’t know what exactly his own view on his future is but he seems like a bright enough guy. I wouldn’t begrudge him the decision that HE also made with his family. I know it’s easy to turn everything onto management but in this case it’s also about what’s best for Hughes. I can’t say that this isn’t. That doesn’t mean I’m happy about the d-group that the Canucks are coming back with but that’s a separate conversation.

    • DJ_44

      Too conservative. Again.
      Stop babying prospects.

      I would have liked him to sign, but I am imagine the Canucks gave him an option. The decision is ultimately the players (an his family).

    • Fortitude00

      Players drafted and playing for CHL teams are ineligible to play in the professional minor leagues (AHL, ECHL) until they are 20 years old (by December 31st of that year) or have completed four years in major juniors. Hughes has played two in US junior but I suspect the rules are the same. It’s college or NHL.

        • Fortitude00

          This article says its North American players. I am still trying to find a better source.
          However, amateur players from North American leagues like major junior (ex. OHL) and junior A (ex. OJHL) are not eligible to play in the American Hockey League until they are 20 years of age or are turning 20 by December 31 of the season. Amateur players from European leagues are eligible to play in the AHL immediately after being signed.

          • DJ_44

            The best source is to read the CBA. It is clear. The NHL/CHL agreement is what dictates the rule you refer to.

            Once Hughes signs, he is no longer eligible for the NCAA. If he signed he would have been eligible to play in the NHL or AHL. In fact, had he not played 10 NHL games, but rather played in Utica, the first year of his ELC would Slide.

          • Fortitude00

            8.7 Age 18 and 19 Players.
            (a) During the first two seasons next succeeding the draft of an age 18 Player, the
            Club he signs an SPC with must first offer him to the club from which he was claimed before it
            may Loan him.
            (c) During the seasons set forth in (a) and (b) above, the age 18 and age 19 Player,
            respectively, may be Loaned to the minor league team affiliate of his Club when his Junior team
            is no longer in competition and provided he has been listed on the Club’s minor league eligibility

          • DJ_44

            He is was not drafted out of Major Juniors. The rule about not sending U20s to AHL is covered under the NHL/CHL agreement. This is reference a couple of pages later:

            9.1 (d) (iv)

            The return dates to Major Juniors (as established by Agreement between
            the NHL and the Canadian Hockey League, dated May 2, 1995 (or any
            successor or similar agreement so long as there is no material change in
            those return dates)), and the minor leagues (as set forth in Section 8.7) are
            hereby confirmed and affirmed and are continued during the term of this
            Agreement and any extension hereof (e.g., return dates, prohibition on
            sending underage players to minors).

            Once again, Hughes is not subject to this agreement.

          • DJ_44

            I will add that my remark about “it is clear” is optimistic at best.

            I also do not believe this rule applies to Tier II junior (BCHL, OJHL) since they are not a part of the CHL.

    • bobdaley44

      Ya sure 5’9 160 lb defenceman playing in his first eligible year. He’ll get run over. Good decision regardless of what the haters who know nothing say.

      • Bud Poile

        “Ya sure 5’9 160 lb defenceman playing in his first eligible year. He’ll get run over. Good decision regardless of what the haters who know nothing say.”bobdaley44

        Fully agree.

    • crofton

      If you weren’t able to understand, it was Hughes’ decision, not the Canucks. So “babying prospects” and “too conservative” are entirely meaningless accusations

  • wy

    Not surprised by this. After seeing the debacle between ownership and management why would he want to step into that right now? Going back to college is fine though, only helps our chances to get his brother.

  • wojohowitz

    This might be the decision that forced Linden out as Aquilini/Benning wanted Hughes promotional value whereas Linden knew an 18 year old as the focus of attention would not be healthy for either the player or the franchise.

      • wojohowitz

        Let me dumb it down for you;

        Hughes to Benning; I`m going back to school.

        Benning to Aquilini; Linden told him not to sign.

        Aquilini to Linden; Do you know how much money you just cost me?

        • DJ_44

          This is not what any of the statements issued by the Canucks or the Hughes camp have said; either today, or previous to Linden’s resignation. Take the tin-foil out from the toque, wojo, its a heat wave in town!

          • wojohowitz

            You want to know what Linden said after Aquilini thanked him for his services? He said; Yeah, well, F U 2 a__hole.

            …and Bud; How much is enough. Jeff Bezos would really like to know.

        • Bud Poile

          Vancouver general manager Jim Benning told Sportsnet the Canucks were not prepared to guarantee Hughes an NHL roster spot for this season.

          “It’s really hard to do that,” Benning said. “Quinn’s a great player, but he’s [5-foot-10] and 170 pounds. We went back and forth on it. The thing we didn’t want happening is we sign him, he makes the team, and then things go south because he’s an 18-year-old rookie. Then what? This was a mutual agreement. We talked to Quinn last night and he understands and is on board with it. He’s going to work hard at Michigan.”
          Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden left that job Wednesday. Those duties, which include player development, will be handled by Benning, who said owner Francesco Aquilini did not influence the Hughes decision.

          “Other teams I’ve worked for, there’s always interaction with ownership on big decisions,” Benning said. “Francesco asked me what I thought was the best thing for Quinn’s development. I told him, and that was it.”

    • speering major

      I think you have it backwards. It was Hughes decision so I’m not sure how you could place blame on Linden, JB, or ownership. It was clear from day 1 that the Hughes camp was weighing the benefits of going back to college vs playing in Utica with an outside chance of making the Canucks. They chose college over Utica.

      Considering it was Hughes decision and it hadn’t been made yet, theories this created a Linden rift are pretty wild

  • Dirk22

    Disappointing from an entertainment point of view but development wise this is fine. This seasons going to be the low point in this ‘rebuild’ so keeping him away isn’t the worst thing.

    Hopefully see him next year along with his younger brother.

    • Puck Viking

      They have to start rebuilding in order for there to be a low point on a rebuild.

      This will be a low point because the team will be the worst in the NHL and have not yet started rebuilding.

      • TD

        Please explain this comment focussing on how they have not started the rebuild. Almost everyone will have a somewhat different opinion on the specific steps they would have taken, but how does almost a complete roster turnover with only two players left (Edler and Tanev) and the most quality prospects they have ever had not equate to a rebuild?

        • TD

          Although I do agree this year may be the low point. I’m quite happy it will be as they need at least one more high pick and time for many of the prospects to develop.

    • DogBreath

      The long term is the only thing that matters. Throwing him in to a losing environment (next year) is only negative. Michigan or Utica were his best options. Glad he took one of them.

  • wshdrvvn

    Probably for the beat in the long run. Heres hoping michigan goes deep in the playoffs and he isnt able to burn a year off the ELC at the end of the season.

  • DJ_44

    So he plays in Michigan. If he signs at the end of his season with the Canucks, he will NOT burn a year of his ELC (assuming he does not play 10 NHL games). He will be 19 age-at-signing as per the CBA (same if he signs anytime during the 2019 calendar year).

    It may make more sense for him to sign an ATO and play for Utica thinking they will be looking to make a playoff run. It would have not implication on ELC status for either party.

    • KGR

      My understanding is that any games played during a season will burn a year off of the ELC. The canucks have used this as incentive in getting college players signed at the end of the year. Both Boeser and Gaudette did this. Cheers

      • DJ_44

        I stand corrected: I missed the last part of the critical sentence in the CBA:

        9.1 (d) i

        In the event that an 18 year old or 19 year old Player signs an SPC with a
        Club but does not play at least ten (10) NHL Games in the first season
        under that SPC, the term of his SPC and his number of years in the Entry
        Level System shall be extended for a period of one (1) year,

        and the key part

        except that this automatic extension will not apply to a Player who is 19 according to Section 9.2 by virtue of turning 20 between September 16 and December
        31 in the year in which he first signs an SPC

        Hughes will be 19 (age-at-signing), however he will be 19 by virture of the fact he turns 20 on Oct 14th, 2019. He would burn a year – his early birthday hurts us here.

  • speering major

    I think this is positive for Oli. He has a better shot at making the Canucks, and a more prominent role in Utica with Hughes in college. It also can’t help his confidence seeing D from his draft class being impact players and then have an 18 year old leap frog him.

    • I agree. Having Hughes in the NCAA and Juolevi in Utica is best for both players. Moreover, if Benning trades MDZ or Hutton at the TDL, we can promote Juolevi then. We’ll have 4 veteran RHD to pair with Hughes and Juolevi the year after plus whoever replaces Edler (or he comes back at a lower salary).

      • Puck Viking

        You can add Edler to the list of players to be moved at the deadline. Maybe we get lucky and get a late 1st for him. Then hopefully resign him in the offseason so the left side next year is.


  • Multiple sources close to Hughes had a say in this and if this move is best for his development, then I have no problem with it. Sounds like the right choice. Save the fun for next year.

    This give Jim Benning time to make room and sort out our defense. It also gives guys like Hutton a second chance, Juolevi a chance to make the NHL, and Gudbranson to string together a full healthy season.

      • Bud Poile

        A healthy Gudbranson will be easier to trade.
        One full season of health is necessary
        Guddy,MDZ and Hutton should all be trade chips this season.
        Selling low is not the option fans clamour for.

        • Beer Can Boyd

          Easier to trade for what? Worst defensive metrics in the league, slow, and loath to play physical. Dude and his salary are a gigantic boat anchor. He was available last trade deadline, even signed to a shiny new contract, and no GM came within 1,000 miles. He’s ours, until we waive him.

  • I think this is the best decision honestly. He is so young and I do hope he can put on 10 more pounds of muscle as long as it doesn’t affect his speed. He does need to beef up just a little. Plus it seems there isn’t room for the young kids just yet, this gives us a year to clear out a spot for him without giving players away for nothing. It’s best for his development. He can go back and dominate in NCAA & play for WJC. One more year is not the end of the world.

    • Bud Poile

      Via Rick Dhaliwal:
      Jim Hughes : “The #Canucks were great, Quinn talked with Trevor, Jim, Travis and Weisbrod. Quinn has the vision to get to Vancouver and he will get there.” #Canucks
      Jim Hughes : “We looked at Zach Werenski and Charlie McAvoy, we do not want to rush. At the end of the day Quinn made a great choice along with Vancouver.” #Canucks

      The concensus amongst mgmt. was to allow Quinn to develop and get stronger without pressure from the Canucks hierarchy to play pro now.
      That is very encouraging for prospects and patient fans alike while those that thought Linden diverged on this issue can now see his support of Quinn.

  • Puck Viking

    A great decision was made today. Hopefully this management group wasnt trying to get him in this season, if so it shows how stupid they really are.

    Anyone who thinks he should have been on the team is selfish and cares nothing for this kids future.

    • Rodeobill

      I don’t know, that’s kind of extreme. I wish I could see him play on the canucks next year and believe he very well could, I think he has the nuts and bolts and support to sort it out there, but that’s not the case. Having said that, I agree that I am selfish in wanting to see him play, I do think, however, that this is perhaps the best choice from the team rebuild standpoint. What happens if the stars did align and EP and him tip the scales into the “almost in the wildcard” spot and what happens to the rebuild half done then? ownership stars listening to the $ from the fervor of an impatient fanbase clamoring for contention and we start selling off futures and cap before the rebuild is done.

      I know, a lot to infer from on draftee signing, but tell me you couldn’t see that happening, amaright?

  • Bud Poile

    Iain MacIntyre
    ‏ @imacSportsnet
    Most reassuring thing about Hughes’ decision: #Canucks hockey-ops was allowed to do what it thought was right. Linden thought Hughes should go back to college. So did Benning.

    Iain MacIntyre
    ‏ @imacSportsnet
    #Canucks could have promised Hughes an NHL spot, but Benning — just like Linden — knew it wasn’t the right thing to do. Everyone needed more time to see how Hughes develops physically, so the dynamic d-man goes back to Michigan for what could be dominant NCAA season.

  • wojohowitz

    Who`s thinking what this morning.

    Linden; Haven`t slept this well in years. Maybe August cycling in the Alps and then Italy in September. Forget about training camp. Life is good.

    Hughes; What a sad sack operation. Might have to spend three more years in college just to get away from these people.

    Aquilini; I got played. I think I got played. Anybody else think I got played.

    Benning; Who told me it was a good idea to go on national television with a dye job. Was that John? An agent suggested I go for an orange Mohawk next year but I think he was kidding.

    Weisbrod; Man this couldn`t have worked out better. I`ll be president before Christmas. Fire Benning after another ugly season. Never thought I`d get another shot after that Orlando mess. Deja vu all over again.