Detroit Red Wings sniper Dylan Larkin offered massive praise for fellow University of Michigan product Quinn Hughes, referring to the Vancouver Canucks’ 2018 first-round selection as a potential Norris Trophy winner.
The Vancouver Canucks have never had a Norris Trophy winner in their history, nor have they owned a defenceman whom you could classify as a “franchise-changer”.
But the team is hoping that Quinn Hughes — whom they selected with the seventh pick in this year’s draft — can become the game-changing defender that they’ve sought for decades. Hughes announced his decision to go back to the University of Michigan for a second year, so Canucks fans will have to wait and be patient until the party starts.
It’s important for Canucks fans to remember that all good things in life are waiting for. And if Detroit Red Wings sniper Dylan Larkin has it right, Vancouver will not regret being patient in Hughes’ transition to the NHL.
Asked by Sportsnet’s Luke Fox what the Canucks have in Hughes, Larkin had this to say:
Hughes and Larkin played together for Team USA at this year’s IIHF World Hockey Championships in Denmark, leading the Americans to a bronze medal. Hughes finished with two assists in 10 games, while Larkin dominated with a trio of goals and six assists.
Larkin, whose game is also built around speed and quick puck movement, got a first-hand look at Hughes, and was wowed by what he saw. It’s obviously too early to tell if Hughes will morph into a Norris Trophy winner, but Canuck fans have to like what a budding star in Larkin had to say about their new prospect.
Hughes scored five goals and 29 points in 37 games for the Wolverines in his first year of college. Considering that defencemen take longer to develop, it probably is the safe bet for Hughes to continue working on his game in college.
The Canucks won’t rush Hughes into the NHL, but when he finally arrives, the wait will have been worth it. This team has never had an elite blueliner prospect like Hughes, and who knows? Perhaps he will become the first player in franchise history to win the Norris Trophy.
We’ll find out some day.