Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes is battling a lower-body injury, head coach Travis Green confirmed Thursday morning.
The 22-year-old defenceman, who arrived later in the preseason along with Elias Pettersson due to contract negotiations, was heavily relied upon through the Canucks’ first three games of the season.
In all three games he’s appeared in this season, Hughes has led all Canucks skaters in ice time, and on most nights, by a pretty significant margin.
In their season opener in Edmonton, Hughes logged 27:01 of total ice time. In Philadelphia, it was 26:46, and in Detroit, Hughes played a whopping 29:09 of total ice time.
Tuesday night’s performance in Buffalo highlighted just how important Hughes is to this team, as if it wasn’t clear enough already.
Hughes, alongside Luke Schenn and Vasily Podkolzin, took part in a hard skate this morning. Typically, this would indicate that those three will be the healthy scratches tonight, but in this case, it’s very possible that Hughes was testing out whatever it is that’s ailing him before making a decision on if he’s good to go tonight.
“He was close to playing last game and will be close to playing tonight, so we’ll see if he’s in or out,” said Green.
Puck drop is at 5:30 Pacific from the United Center in Chicago.