Earlier today, the University of Michigan announced that defenseman Quinn Hughes, the Vancouver Canucks 2018 first-round pick, will return to the team, crushing hopeful fans of having the smooth-skating blueliner from starting the season with the Canucks.
Sportsnet’s Rick Dhaliwal reports that he interviewed Hughes’ agent and father, Jim Hughes about the decision the Hughes family had to make last night about him returning to college for another season.
“Quinn talked to Jim and Travis last night, everyone was on the same page. Because we were travelling so much in last month, finally we got together and made the call,” said Jim Hughes. “Quinn went back and forth, he struggled with the call to go to the NHL, every kid wants to get there fast but we did not rush. 1 more year in college will not hurt him, he wants to get stronger and pack on some pounds.”
TSN’s Ray Ferraro suggests the team take a similar approach to Quinn Hughes to the direction that Boston took when they drafted Charlie McAvoy in the first round back in 2016. The Bruins allowed him to return to Boston University, then play at the World Juniors and then after his college season signed him and brought him in to play in six playoff games for them.
- Ben Birnell of the Observer-Dispatch wonders how the resignation of Trevor Linden, the Canucks president of hockey operations, will affect the team’s long-term standing with their AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets. Linden has been a supporter of Vancouver’s affiliation with the Comets over the years despite the distance between the two cities and with the six-year affiliation agreement between the two teams up in less than a year, there are questions whether Linden’s departure could end their long-time affiliation. Utica has been home to many of the Canucks top prospects and will likely be a focal point for the team’s depth at the forward position as several key prospects are likely going to be headed for Utica this season.
- JD Burke of The Athletic (subscription required) takes a look at what forward Tim Schaller will bring to the Canucks, especially pointing to the veteran’s ability to play high-quality defensive hockey. Schaller, who was one of three bottom-six forwards to sign on July 1 to multiple-year contracts along with Jay Beagle and Antoine Roussel, was the one with the most reasonable deal. He signed a two-year, $3.8MM deal and might be worth that money, according to the scribe, who breaks down the 27-year-old’s positive qualities, which also include solid penalty killing skills.
- TSN’s Jason Brough reports that while the loss of Hughes is likely going to keep the team’s defense the same, he wouldn’t be surprised if Vancouver makes a move to improve a below average defense that at the momemt is made up of Alexander Edler, Chris Tanev, Erik Gudbranson, Michael Del Zotto, Ben Hutton and Troy Stecher.