There has been plenty of speculation as to where Vancouver Canucks first-rounder Quinn Hughes will play next season. The defenseman has put an end to that as he has committed to Michigan for next season, the school announced.
Hughes was the seventh-overall pick last month following a stellar freshman year that saw him collect 29 points in 37 games. He also played a regular role at the World Juniors in December as well as the World Championships in May which had some thinking that he may be ready to make the jump to the pros.
With Vancouver’s depth on the back end, it’s likely that they would have had to trade someone to create a spot for Hughes at the NHL level right away, especially if 2016 first-rounder Olli Juolevi also makes the jump next season. With this decision, they can now keep their defense corps fully intact.
GM Jim Benning released the following statement about the decision through the Canucks’ Twitter account:
“We are in full support of Quinn’s decision to continue his university career as he further develops as a hockey player and a student. He now has an opportunity to be a leader at the University of Michigan and represent Team USA at the 2019 World Junior Championship in Vancouver. These are once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will only benefit Quinn’s future career.”
While Hughes won’t be with the Canucks to start the season, there is always the potential for him to sign at the conclusion of his college campaign and then play for Vancouver down the stretch. This is something that the team has done in recent years with forwards Brock Boeser and Adam Gaudette so it wouldn’t be too surprising if that’s the approach they have in mind here as well.