Presumptive No. 1 overall pick and future New Jersey Devils star Jack Hughes is only adding to his legacy as the 2019 NHL Entry Draft draws closer. With three points in today’s bronze medal win over Team Canada, the American phenom reached a record 32 points over his career at the IIHF U-18 World Junior Championship. This breaks the previous mark of 31 total points, scored by future Hall of Famer Alex Ovechkin from 2002 and 2003.
Hughes, who turns 18 next month, made his U-18 WJC debut last year for Team USA. Then just 16, Hughes nevertheless put his effortless play-making ability to work and recorded 12 points in seven games en route to a silver medal. The talented pivot has been even more impressive a year later, totaling 20 points in seven games. Hughes’ name will no go down in the record books as the best ever to play in this particular tournament and it could be a tough mark to break, as it will take another talent capable of playing in two tournaments, which is uncommon. This tournament caps off an incredible season for Hughes, as he totaled 111 points in 49 games this season between the U.S. National Team Development Program and the U-20 and U-18 World Juniors for a whopping 2.27 points per game.
Hughes’ efforts continue a string of records set by the Americans, as teammate Cole Caufield tied the U-18 single-tournament goal record of 14, also set by Ovechkin. This USNTDP roster could be remembered as one of the best of all-time, with Hughes and Caufield as two of at least seven players expected to be selected in the first round of the draft in June and upwards of 25 who could be taken at some point. A bronze medal thus comes as a disappointment for the team at the U-18’s, but it won’t be long before many of them have a new challenge at the pro or collegiate level next season.