NHL Draft: Special moment for the Hughes family

BUFFALO | How many people looking for the job they’ve always dreamed of are scrutinized in an interview in front of dad? For Jack Hughes, son of Canadian general manager Kent Hughes, this is the experience he had in Buffalo this week, at the NHL evaluation camp for the draft.

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In the Hughes clan, the last weeks and those to come are full of feverishness. The youngster is ranked 26e among the North American hopefuls of the repechage which will take place in Montreal on July 7 and 8.

Meanwhile, the father is busy making every effort to ensure that his first repechage at the helm of a team goes smoothly.

Jack Hughes, son of Canadian general manager Kent, underwent rigorous exercises at the NHL's Columbine in Buffalo.

Courtesy: Dan Hickling

Jack Hughes, son of Canadian general manager Kent, underwent rigorous exercises at the NHL’s Columbine in Buffalo.

The process inevitably resulted in Hughes ending up on Hughes’ long list of interviews.

“It was definitely more stressful with my dad in the room. Before the interview, I was sitting outside and he preferred to leave, but Martin Lapointe told him: “No, you stay!” The people from the organization asked me if I wanted him to stay and I said no. Then they told me it was not up to me! At least he didn’t ask any questions, which is good,” said Jack Hughes, all smiles, yesterday.

Not in Montreal

No need to observe the young man for long to realize that the physical resemblance to his father is striking: the face is the same, hair added. Answering questions with ease, the frail 170-pound forward clearly does not expect to end up in Montreal with one of the 14 Canadian selections, even if the close relationship with his father is obvious.

“All I want is to play in the NHL, no matter where. If it’s in Montreal one day, I wouldn’t be disappointed, but I don’t think it’s something my father wants.

“I think he doesn’t want to put that pressure on me. He even told me that he wanted to avoid this situation as much as possible. If the staff thinks that at a certain point in the draft, I am the best player available, they will have to take me, but I would be in shock to be chosen by the Canadian, “he confided.

Unexpected transition

When the Canadian surprised many by appointing Kent Hughes as general manager, even his son was among the most surprised.

“It was very surprising. I expected him to prepare for his retirement. He wasn’t really talking about retirement, but I know he was excited about working on his golf game. Except that he has always been very knowledgeable in hockey. My family and I knew he would do a great job when he got the job. He spent his career as an agent making projections on the development of players, ”depicted Jack Hughes.

The only aspect of the father-son relationship that has since changed is that the young hopeful’s game is less dissected by the father, overwhelmed by his new livelihood.

“Our relationship outside of hockey hasn’t changed. On the ice, he obviously missed more games and he seems less hard on me when I play less well. He tells me to forget and think about the next game. It has changed a bit,” he smiled.

an important moment

Hughes, after two seasons in the American development program, made the move to Northeastern University last season, where he had 16 points in 39 games.

His talent is undeniable, even if he is the first to say that he would like to develop his skating skills to become a more dynamic player. It will be necessary to see if this aspect of his game, as well as his small size, will cool the ardor of the decision-makers of the 32 clubs.

If the Canadian is the object of his lust, Hughes says he is ready to deal with a particular family situation. If he ends up somewhere else, his father will still be the first he will hear to thank.

“Probably going down to the stage, I will want to go see him to hug him. After all, it’s largely thanks to him that I got there,” testified the young man, grateful.

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