It seemed inevitable all season long, and now it’s official.
Only one day after Michigan’s season ended in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, sophomore defenseman Quinn Hughes signed an NHL entry-level contract with the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.
“Thank you to the coaching staff, medical staff, trainers and the best fans in college hockey,” Hughes said in a statement. “Most importantly, thank you to my teammates who made this the best two years of my life. Proud to be (a part) of the Michigan family! Go Blue!”
Hughes was drafted seventh overall in 2018 and many expected his sophomore season with the Wolverines to be his last. In 32 games with Michigan this season, Hughes led the team with 33 total points. He finished with 28 assists, which led the team and was the fourth-most in the nation by a defenseman in the regular season.
Michigan coach Mel Pearson frequently referred to Hughes as “worth the price of admission”, and his high-level skating ability and offensive upside made him an integral part of the Wolverines both on offense and defense.
“I want to congratulate Quinn on his signing with the Vancouver Canucks,” said Michigan coach Mel Pearson in a statement. “I want to thank him for his time at the University of Michigan and the contributions that he made to our program. Quinn is an outstanding player, but more importantly he is an outstanding young man. The Canucks are getting an elite prospect and we look forward to following Quinn's professional career.”
Hughes suffered a lower leg injury after blocking a shot late in the third period in the first game of Michigan’s Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal series at Minnesota. He was unavailable in overtime, but returned the following night, when the Wolverines’ season came to a close in a 4-1 loss.
Throughout his two years at Michigan, Hughes played in 68 games and tallied 62 total points, including 10 goals.
This story has been updated since its original publication.