Is it ever a bad time to start looking way ahead to the 2021 draft? The class is turning out to be an exciting crop of great young players. It is safe to say that a lot of very good defensemen will be entering the league in the next few years. Jamie Drysdale (2020), Bowen Byram (2019), Rasmus Sandin (2018), Erik Brannstrom (2017) are all on the verge of becoming exceptional young defenders. There is no shortage of electrifying defense prospects available again in 2021. Names to look out for include (Brandt Clarke, Carson Lambos, Owen Power, Sean Behrens), among the group is American Luke Hughes. Many people will be watching the young dman coming this fall.
Luke is the youngest sibling of Quinn and Jack Hughes. Luke’s brothers have been tremendously exciting to watch thus far as rookies. The middle brother Jack plays center and was drafted 1st overall by New Jersey (2019). Oldest brother Quinn is a defenseman and was picked 7th by Vancouver (2018). Quinn is a year older than Jack and having a season at the University of Michigan was slightly further ahead in his development.
When the two jumped into the NHL this year the extra year proved worthy as Quinn was playing at an incredible pace. Good enough to be a front runner for the best rookie, battling it out with Cale Makar for the Calder Trophy. Jack showed flashes of brilliance, but his game was not as consistent. Jack was the first player ever to go from the US National Development program directly into the NHL. Another year of development may have been beneficial for Jack, but he will be a prominent player for the Devils soon.
What is next for Luke and the NHL?
Following up in the shadows of his brothers, Luke will face added pressure from the hockey world. A lot of eyes will be on the 17-year-old as he plays for the US program next. Luckily, he has some very good company giving him advice along the way. His two brothers have gone through similar difficulties and they will be quick to help their little bro. Luke is committed to Michigan, following Quinn’s path. If Luke takes a similar development path, he could play a similar style to his gifted brothers. It will be exciting to watch Luke next season we will get a better sense of his talent and potential.
Not only defense but the overall talent on its way to the NHL is massive. Hockey is becoming about speed and skill. The game is more exhilarating than ever, up, and coming stars may develop into franchise-altering players. Rebuilders may turn into contenders. It is an exciting time to follow hockey prospects. The NHL will be treated to a flock of high-end players soon. It is reassuring if your favorite team is rebuilding or if you love watching skilled players.