Canucks: Another rookie set to dominate the All-Star competition

Rookie defenceman Quinn Hughes will be the third Vancouver Canucks rookie in three consecutive years to represent the team.

Any Vancouver Canucks fan knows all about rookie defenceman Quinn Hughes. He made an instant impact after joining the team as a late call-up last season, and his quarterbacking skills on the power play ultimately stole the number one job from the team veteran, Alex Edler.

If it wasn’t for the incredible play from forward Elias Pettersson, the silky smooth defenceman would have been a sure-thing as an All-Star selection for Vancouver. But with the roster size shrinking in the new three-on-three format and every organization wanting a face to represent their team, Hughes had to find his way to the dance through the back door.

Hughes went to work earning votes in the process. With the 6-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres, he had 31 points in 44 games. The polls closed and Hughes tallied the most votes for the Last Man In of the Pacific Division. Beating out some notable names, the Canucks announced the exciting news from their Twitter account.

The Orlando, Florida defender will make his All-Star Game debut with fellow teammates, Pettersson (who played in it last year) and goaltender Jacob Markstrom. There will be three players to represent Canucks’ colours in 2020, which is an impressive feat.

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But more impressively, this is the first time the Canucks will be sending three rookies in three straight years. Brock Boeser was a rookie and  the All-Star Game MVP in 2018, and Pettersson was the lone Canuck of the 2019 All-Star Game.

With the All-Star nod, Hughes became the third consecutive rookie to earn the honour for Vancouver. It will be interesting to see him line up against the league’s top talent. He has proved himself capable of shutting down franchise-caliber guys in the past, but it will be mouth-watering to see him match up against nothing but All-Star talent.

Hughes couldn’t be more excited to be announced an All-Star. He was asked about it following the news breakout and he was happy to comment:

It doesn’t happen very often that a team can pull off such a feat in sending three rookies in as many years to the All-Star Game. But it goes to show that the Canucks organization has an exceptional scouting staff that has been widely successful in plucking the right player in the draft, regardless of position.

When it comes to drafts of recent years, general manager Jim Benning has hit nothing but grand slams. Pettersson would be first off the board in any 2017 redraft, Hughes could arguably be better than 2018 first overall selection, Rasmus Dahlin and Boeser would go inside the top 10 of 2015.

Next: Canucks: Quinn Hughes named to 2020 All-Star Game

Thanks to Benning, the Canucks will have a handful of honourable candidates to choose from over the years when it comes to selecting their best player. Three rookies, three years in a row. That’s something else.

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