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BEN KUZMA: Quinn's in on Jack Hughes rules in NHL Entry Draft top 10 prospects

NHL Entry Draft prospect Kirby Dach. - Liam Richards/Postmedia News files

Siblings can combine like peanut butter and jam or disconnect like oil and water. 

They either support and complement each other on or off the ice, or they don’t really mix and just do their own thing.

Quinn and Jack Hughes are a PBJ combination.

When Quinn assessed the potential of younger brother, Jack, the expected top pick in the 2019 NHL draft in Vancouver on June 21, he not only talked about the player, he talked about the person.

At the world under-18 championship last year, the centre led with 12 points (5-7) in a dozen games for the United States, was named MVP and to the all-star team. In his first USHL season with the U.S. National Development Team program, he had an eye-popping 54 points (21-33) in 27 games. This season, he added 48 points (12-36) in 24 games to cement his stature as a prime pick. He will also represent the U.S. again at the next under-18 world championship starting April 18 in Sweden.

Jack has a willingness to improve in the gym and on the ice that had Quinn, the Canucks’ first-round pick in 2018, searching for superlatives to describe his younger brother.

“His work ethic is second to none and I credit a lot of my success to him and I’m sure he’ll do the same,” said Quinn. “Obviously, you see on the ice how good he is. But off the ice, he does everything that it takes. He just loves the game. He gets his sleep. He eats the right way and does everything away from the game that allows him to be special on the ice.”

Here’s a capsule look at top 10 prospects for the NHL Entry Draft at Rogers Arena on June 21-22:

1. JACK HUGHES (C, USNDT, USHL, 5-foot-11, 170 lbs.)

The stats: GP: 41; G:23, A:63, PTS: 86
The skinny: It’s hard to find franchise centres and one who has improved skating and strength as much as Hughes. And like his older brother, an ability to maneuver through the neutral zone and be one step ahead of the play — often doing something spectacular like Patrick Kane to set up a linemate or get to the net — sets him apart. He bettered Clayton Keller’s USNDT program scoring record when he collected is 190th point over two seasons with the under-17 and under-18 teams.

2. KAAPO KAKKO (LW, TPS TURKU, 6-foot-2, 194 lbs.)

The stats: GP:45, G: 22, A:16, PTS: 38
The skinny: Another big Finn who has dominated at the under-18 level as the country’s top sniper with 22 goals in 45 games while playing in the SM-liiga against men. That gets everybody’s attention. Won under-18 and then world junior gold with five points (2-3) in seven games.

3. VASILI PODKOLZIN (RW, ST. PETERSBURG, 6-foot-1, 190 lbs.)

The stats: GP: 29, G:8, A:5, PTS: 13
The skinny: Excelled as a power winger at three different levels this season in Russia with elite compete level and skill. At 2019 world junior tournament, had three assists in seven games and won bronze.

4. KIRBY DACH (C, SASKATOON, WHL, 6-foot-4, 200 lbs.)

The stats: GP: 62. G:25, A:48, PTS: 73
The skinny: Big frame, big game, big upside. Already has the size and a complete skill set that any team would want in a centre. Put up points consistently, matched up well against older pivots.

5. BOWEN BYRAM (D, VANCOUVER, WHL, 6-foot-1, 192 lbs.)

The stats: GP: 67, G:26, A:45, PTS: 71
The skinny: Best defenceman in this draft does it all. Led all three major junior leagues in goals and also set a franchise record for goals by blueliners to eclipse the 24 that Kevin Connauton fired in 2009-10.

6. DYLAN COZENS (C/RW, LETHBRIDGE, WHL, 6-foot-3, 185 lbs.)

The stats: GP: 69, G:34, A:50, PTS: 84
The skinny: Can also play the wing because his puck handling has greatly improved and that’s attractive for any club looking for roster versatility. Complete centre has been compared to Jeff Carter of the L.A. Kings.

7. ALEX TURCOTTE (C, USNDT, USHL, 5-foot-11, 186 lbs.)

The stats: GP: 30, G: 23, A:30, PTS: 53
The skinny: Son of former Portland WHL star and NHL centre Alfie, returned Dec. 15 from a lower-body injury and showcased his  excellent skating and elite skill with 51 points (22-29) in 27-game span. Heading to University of Wisconsin.

8. TREVOR ZEGRAS (C/LW, USNDT, USHL, 6-foot, 169 lbs.)

The stats: GP 54, G:26, A:25, PTS: 78
The skinny: Dynamic on wing with possible first-overall pick Jack Hughes and also excelled at centre in Five Nations Tournament. Superior vision, skill compared to Mathew Barzal. Is bound for Boston University.

9. MATTHEW BOLDY (LW, USNDT, USHL, 6-foot-2, 192 lbs.)

The stats: GP:55, G:30, A:39, PTS: 69
The skinny: Already possesses strong two-way game with smart positioning, good hands an excellent shot and maturing frame. Has played with Hughes and Zegras and is bound for Boston College.

10.VICTOR SODERSTROM (D, Brynas, SHL, 5-foot-11, 176 lbs.)

The stats: GP: 44, G: 4, A:3, PTS:7
The skinny: Played against men this season and would address a right-shot need on Canucks’ back end that’s going to continually be in transition. Rates higher as a pro prospect than countryman Philip Broberg.

bkuzma@postmedia.com

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