Luke Hughes on sibling rivalry, Toronto memories and 2021 draft

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Luke Hughes watched with nice pleasure as his older brothers – Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes and New Jersey Devils centre Jack Hughes – performed towards one another within the Nationwide Hockey League for the primary time again in October.

“It is a surreal factor when each your brothers are taking part in within the NHL,” Luke mentioned. “It is a factor you dream about once you’re a child. It was wonderful to see that.”

The youngest Hughes brother is trying to be part of his siblings within the subsequent few years. The 16-year-old defenceman, who posted 28 factors in 48 video games with the U.S. Nationwide U17 Crew final season, will lea​n on Quinn and Jack for recommendation as he enters his draft marketing campaign.

​”It is a bonus having two brothers within the NHL telling you little ideas and tips,” he mentioned. “It is enormous and can assist me rather a lot. Each of them gave me the identical recommendation, which is, ‘It is a actually lengthy 12 months and it’s important to keep open-minded to the whole lot and keep calm and at one stage. You may’t be too excessive or too low, as a result of it’s going to chew you.””

Jack was the primary general decide within the 2019 NHL draft whereas Quinn is a high contender to win the Calder Trophy this 12 months. Luke is aiming to comply with in some fairly massive footsteps, however insists there is not any added stress due to his final identify.

“I do not suppose there’s any stress in any respect, as a result of on the finish of the day you select a sport that you simply like to play and if you consider it like that there needs to be no stress, since you’re having enjoyable.”

Luke spoke with TSN through Zoom this week to relive a few of his high reminiscences rising up within the hockey hotbed of Toronto. He additionally revealed how he is completely different than his brothers on and off the ice. The next is an edited transcript of the interview.

What was it like rising up with Quinn and Jack because the youngest brother?

“On the finish of the day, we had been simply three common children attempting to like the sport and develop their sport so it was a number of enjoyable rising up. Whether or not it was ping-pong, basketball or mini-sticks or on the outdoor rink the whole lot was a contest and it was a number of enjoyable. They might push me rather a lot in something we did.”

Do you could have any bragging rights on both of these guys?

“I like to think about myself because the best basketball participant, however Quinn’s fairly good too. We’re all fairly equal at something we do.”

What’s your basketball sport like?

“I drive rather a lot. I am virtually 6-foot-2 now in order that helps rather a lot.”

Are your brothers – Quinn is 5-foot-10 and Jack is 5-foot-11 – jealous of your dimension?

“Yeah, they are saying I received the ‘Pop’ gene from my grandfather.”

How are you completely different out of your brothers off the ice?

“Jack’s actually outgoing whereas Quinn is sort of an introvert and I am a bit of in between.”

What was it like spending a part of your childhood within the hockey hotbed of Toronto whereas your dad, Jim, labored within the Maple Leafs group?

“Rising up in Toronto and watching the Maple Leafs, it was wonderful going to the video games. Taking part in within the GTHL, I do not suppose there’s any higher developmental league on this planet. It was an unbelievable time. There have been rinks on each nook and it was a extremely enjoyable time. Additionally, there have been a number of loopy youth hockey mother and father.”

What had been the loopy mother and father like?

“Quite a lot of screaming within the stands of, ‘Kill him! Hit him!’ Nevertheless it was superior.”

Any particular reminiscences at Leafs video games?

“We went to one of many playoff video games towards Boston and had been within the standing-room-only part, as a result of that is the place we may get in. We mentioned, ‘Get us some tickets and we’ll determine it out,’ and all of the loopy Toronto followers had been chanting a bunch of enjoyable stuff.”

Leafs ahead William Nylander lived with you guys for a bit after he received drafted and each Jack and Quinn have praised his table tennis abilities. What do you keep in mind?

“I used to be actually younger on the time, however I keep in mind we used to guess on it. We used to have these BarDown hats and we used to guess BarDown hats on ping-pong video games and Willie gained the whole lot. He was an unbelievable particular person and it was a extremely enjoyable time.”

How typically do you communicate to your brothers throughout the season?

“We speak rather a lot, most likely 3 times every week. It is all the time good to listen to their voices. Quinn’s been in quarantine in Vancouver and I FaceTimed him two nights in the past and he was taking part in NHL 20 and we each are GMs.”

How a lot of your discussions are about hockey?

“You understand, it is extra about life. If I am taking part in the subsequent day then, yeah, we’ll speak a bit of bit about hockey, however it’s nearly the way it’s going and little stuff.”

You and Quinn are each defencemen, in what methods are you related and during which methods are you completely different?

“I am a bit of extra bodily than him, due to the dimensions distinction. We’re actually related in a number of methods.”

By which methods are you probably the most related?

“Most likely hockey sense and skating. We sort of skate the identical means.”

You’​re dedicated to play on the College of Michigan for the 2021-22 season, what has Quinn instructed you in regards to the faculty expertise?

“His No. 1 message is that after I get there to only take pleasure in it, as a result of it goes by actually quick. He had a number of enjoyable there and actually developed there so he says simply make the most of it.”

You are larger than your brothers, which might be a bonus, however it’s important to develop into your body. The place are you at by way of bodily maturity?

“I am just below 6-foot-2 proper now. I used to be skating with [Senators prospect] Josh Norris a bit of bit in the past and we had been the identical dimension. Proper now, I am at 172 kilos so I will continue to grow into my physique and maintain getting stronger.”

Have you ever placed on some kilos of late?

“Yeah, eight kilos. I used to be at 164 in the beginning of final season.”

What’s your purpose for the 2020-21 season?

“Proper now I am simply fearful about coaching and getting stronger and quicker. We do not know what’s going to occur with the pandemic, however subsequent 12 months it would be unbelievable for our crew to win the U18 Worlds. However, once more, I am simply worrying about proper now.”

The place are you centered on enhancing probably the most?

“You will get higher at the whole lot so skating, fingers, shot. We have been engaged on my shot rather a lot recently and on scoring extra objectives.”

How do you’re employed on it?

“It is about utilizing the [stick] know-how, utilizing the flex, the lie, the curve.”

Exterior of your brother I do know you take pleasure in watching Columbus’ Zach Werenski and Boston’s Charlie McAvoy. What do you want in regards to the video games of these guys?

“With Charlie it is how he makes use of his dimension to his benefit and the way in which he hits guys and the way sensible he’s and his skating. And the identical factor with Zach plus additionally how he scores objectives. He had 20 objectives this 12 months and that is rather a lot for a defenceman. So, the way in which he skates, his poise and his shot.”

What are your days trying like now?

“I am taking an internet chemistry class to get it off my plate. I wake-up and do two hours of that after which I’m going and work out with [trainer] Brian Gallivan after which I skate after which simply chill by the pool and hang around. It has been good.”

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