Quinn Hughes signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, March 10. (twitter.com/Canucks photo)

Canucks sign 19-year-old phenom Quinn Hughes

Defenceman gets three-year, entry-level deal with Vancouver

VANCOUVER — Many of Quinn Hughes’ new teammates on the Vancouver Canucks know all about the giant life transition the young defenceman is about to make.

The 19-year-old signed a three-year entry-level deal with the organization on Sunday.

The Canucks (28-32-9) picked Hughes seventh overall at the 2018 NHL draft, but he opted to play a second season at the University of Michigan this year before turning pro.

The five-foot-10, 170-pound blueliner had five goals and 28 assists in 31 games for the Wolverines this season, but the team was knocked out of the NCAA playoffs by the University of Minnesota on Saturday.

Now Hughes could see some NHL action this season.

Vancouver’s final 13 games of the year will provide a huge opportunity for the teen, said right-winger Brock Boeser, one of a handful of Canucks who jumped to the team after finishing a season of college hockey.

“When I played those nine games (in 2017), it proved to me how fast the game is and how strong guys are and stuff like that. You go into summer knowing what you have to do to be ready for a full NHL season,” said Boeser, who played two seasons at the University of North Dakota.

Centre Adam Gaudette had just wrapped his third season at Northeastern University last year when he was signed with the Canucks.

He’d just won the NCAA award for the best player in Division I hockey when he slotted into Vancouver’s lineup for five games and said the time was a whirlwind full of big lessons.

“It’s a small sample size but it helps a whole heck of a lot,” he said.

RELATED: Stone gets 1st goal with Vegas in 6-2 win over Canucks

When Hughes joins the team next week, Gaudette’s advice to him will be simple.

“Just take it all in. Don’t let it slip by. Just enjoy it,” he said. ”You’re here for the end of the season, just enjoy it and get adjusted and then when it’s time to come back next season, you’ve really got to get after it.”

For defenceman Troy Stecher, the biggest difference between playing college hockey at the University of North Dakota and joining the Canucks was the personalities in the locker room.

The native of Richmond was now sitting amongst players he’d grown up watching, including Henrik and Daniel Sedin.

“That was the biggest thing,” Stecher said. ”I think from afar you kind of look at the NHL and you’re like ‘Well, there’s a superstar.’ But at the end of the day, we’re all just a group of guys that are fortunately pretty good at a sport. The camaraderie in the room is a lot of fun to be around and that was the thing I was kind of blown away by, how normal everybody was.”

When, exactly, Hughes will make his Canucks debut remains to be seen. He’s expected to arrive in Vancouver on Tuesday and the team hosts the New York Rangers on Wednesday, but it’s unclear whether he’ll be in the lineup.

Coach Travis Green said on Sunday that he hopes Hughes’ transition from college hockey to pro will be clean and quick.

“He’s an exciting part of our future and I’m hoping that I get to see him sooner rather than later,” he said.

“I plan on getting him in (the lineup) if he’s here, that’s for sure. I want to play him as much as I can.”

Some Vancouver hockey fans caught a glimpse of the young star when the city hosted the world junior hockey championships in January.

Hughes and his younger brother Jack — a 17-year-old forward tapped to be one of the top picks at this year’s draft — helped team USA to a silver medal at the tournament.

Canucks general manager Jim Benning said in a statement on Sunday that Hughes was a leader on his college team and has had success at the international level.

“Quinn is an exceptional skater, strong on the puck and plays with creativity and vision,” he said. “We’re excited for (him) to join our team and continue to grow his game as a member of the Vancouver Canucks.”

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

More Canucks coverage here

CanucksNHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wildsight Golden prepares for GET WILD! summer camps

The day camps will limit enrollement to ten campers and will practice social distancing

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Possible Kermode Bear spotted near Castlegar

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run on May 27

Pregnant Revelstoke woman catches COVID-19 days before giving birth

Michelle Hunter said the ordeal was like a horror movie

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Most Read