The Sabres will draft seventh in the 2019 NHL Draft

April 09, 2019 - 9:32 pm
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Toronto, ON (WGR 550) - Jack Hughes will likely be joining Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier in New Jersey. The Devils won the NHL Draft Lottery for the second time in three years. Buffalo dropped two positions and will be drafting seventh.

The Devils were third coming into the lottery. The New York Rangers jumped from sixth to second overall and the Chicago Blackhawks went from 12th to third.

I had a chance to speak with Hughes before the Lottery. He said Tuesday was great, “It’s really exciting. It’s the first step coming closer to The Draft and it puts things into realization for me, so it’s really cool.”

Hughes has been watching NHL teams, but he said, “It doesn’t matter, if I’m getting to know the team, I’m always watching hockey, especially with Quinn playing five games with Vancouver, but I haven’t really been watching teams for personal benefit, I just like watching hockey.”

Hughes' brother, Quinn, was taken seventh overall last season by the Canucks. The defenseman had three assists in the five games he played towards the end of this season. Jack said watching his brother go through this process the past year and said it's been great, “It’s the most fun I’ve had watching hockey in a long time. Watching him play in the NHL and to fulfill a lifelong dream it was awesome and I know the Vancouver fans were really happy with what they saw.”

Almost everybody knows that Hughes is the consensus No. 1 pick in June. He said this past 12 months have been wild, “It’s been crazy, it’s been a long year obviously, but at the same time it’s been such a fun year playing with all my buddies and we’re all going through the same things with it being our draft year.”

The craziness isn’t over yet either. Hughes won’t actually be drafted until the end of June in Vancouver, “I know it’s a little crazy, that’s what draft year is, it’s a little hectic and it’s all fun. You only go through draft year one time so enjoy it.”

Many top overall picks go straight to the NHL. Hughes feels he’s ready to do that, “Yes, that’s my goal. I’m focused on playing in the NHL right away and next year I feel that I can do it.

“The way the game is now with speed and skill, I feel like my game translates perfectly.”

Even if players are expected to go first overall, they still have the drive to be that guy. “Going first overall is a huge goal of mine. I want to break a barrier for the NDT kids and USA Hockey where you’re allowed to go straight from the program into the NHL, I feel like that would be really cool to be the first kid to do that.”

Hughes plays with the U.S. National Development Team. This season in the USHL, he scored 12 goals and 36 assists for 48 points in 24 games. He said there was a big improvement in his game because he practices every day against seven possible first round picks this year, “My game has popped to the next level having another year of training."

 

This year’s NHL Entry Draft:

1.) New Jersey Devils

2.) New York Rangers

3.) Chicago Blackhawks

4.) Colorado Avalanche

5.) Los Angeles Kings

6.) Detroit Red Wings

7.) Buffalo Sabres

8.) Edmonton Oilers

9.) Anaheim Ducks

10.) Vancouver Canucks

11.) Philadelphia Flyers

12.) Minnesota Wild

13.) Florida Panthers

14.) Arizona Coyotes

15.) Montreal Canadiens

 

The NHL Entry Draft is June 21 and 22 in Vancouver.

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