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

Overnight closures on Pattullo Bridge as earthquake warning system installed

Northbound closures are planned from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on certain nights through to Nov. 4

GOWN UP to raise $10m for Surrey Memorial Hospital upgrades

The money will be used to upgrade 10 operating rooms, buy cutting-edge equipment and recruit more top-notch surgeons

Contest lends focus to protected South Surrey forest

Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest at centre of photography competition

Lord Tweedsmuir downs Seaquam in high school football

The Panthers improve to 3-1, move into a tie for second in the Eastern Conference

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

B.C. woman finds mysterious coin among Grandma’s collection

Grandmother died when she was very young and her past is not well known to her mother

TransLink Mayors’ voters guide singles out Conservatives on transit funding

The guide outlines the pledges major parties have made on transit funding

Advanced polls saw 4.7 million Canadians cast their ballots in the 2019 federal election

That’s a 29 per cent increase from advance polling in 2015

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

Pot use admission at U.S. border snagging Canadian boomers, says lawyer

A waiver to enter the U.S. can cost $2,000 and isn’t a guarantee

Health concerns over vaping cast haze over Canadian cannabis market expansion

More than 1,000 people in the United States, and a handful in Canada, have developed a lung ailment

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

Most Read