Last night, the hockey world had all eyes on the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery, where they saw the NJ Devils win their 2nd Lottery in three seasons. Coming into the Draft Lottery, the Devils had the third best chance, 11.5%, to win the first overall pick. Both the Los Angeles Kings and the Colorado Avalanche fell spots in the draft opening up the top three spots for the Devils, NY Rangers and the Chicago Blackhawks to move up into.
This year the anticipated number one pick is U.S. born, 17 year old center, Jack Hughes. Jack plays to the USNTDP U18 team, which plays in the USHL, plays against NCAA D1 teams, as well as international competition throughout the year. NHL Central Scouting, TSN/Mckenzie, McKeens Hockey, ISS Hockey, Future Considerations and Hockeyprospect.com currently rank him as the #1 prospect in the world right now.
Currently this season Jack leads the NTDP U18 team with 23 goals and 63 assists for 86 points in 41 games played. Combined over his two seasons with the NTDP Jack has amassed 63 goals, 139 assists, for 202 points in 101 games, with 12 GWG. On top of being a great play maker and clutch player, Jack is also very solid in his own zone, posting a +81 over 101 games.
Jack was on hand last night at the draft lottery and he looked very excited about the NJ Devils winning the lottery, stating that, “they [Devils} have some good young talent there.” We will have to wait until June 21st to see Jack take the stage in Vancouver, BC, Canada and if in fact the Devils will take him number 1 overall. Remember it was two years ago when Devils GM Ray Shero opted to take Nico Hischier over the consensus number 1 Nolan Patrick.
Jack comes from a family with a pedigree for the NHL. His 19 year old brother Quinn Hughes was drafted last year by the Vancouver Canucks 7th overall. After a stellar freshman year at Michigan, Quinn signed with the Canucks, playing the final 5 games of the season registering 3 assists. His 15-year-old brother is also a standout in Midget AAA hockey and has committed to play for the NTDP next year and has committed to Michigan for college as well. His mother played in college for UNH and for Women’s Team USA, playing in the 1992 World Championships. Finally, his father played NCAA D1 college hockey, played 2 games professionally before becoming a professional coach for a decade.
We wish Jack the best of luck as his journey to the NHL continues this June!
*Photo Credit NHL.com*
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