Quinn Hughes is a Vancouver Canuck.
If that doesn’t make you grin from ear to ear, just remember that he’s rapidly chasing down multiple records, both in Canucks and league history.
Quinn Hughes... first rookie D-man with 50 points in 27 years. Wow.— Matt Larkin (@THNMattLarkin) February 26, 2020
Consider this. Hughes started the season in jaw-dropping fashion with two goals and 14 points in 20 games. That earned him a bump in playing time from head coach Travis Green, and he didn’t disappoint with another two goals and 15 points over the next 20 games.
During Hughes’ latest 20 game stretch, he’s just been on another level. Levels not seen since Beatlemania, the Cold War, and days when the Edmonton Oilers were actually good.
Over his last 21 games, Hughes has posted four goals and 21 points. That leaves him tied with of the Norris Trophy front runners, John Carlson, for production since during that time.
Everyone in Vancouver know that Hughes is an incredibly special talent, and he’s beginning to get that reputation around the NHL as well.
The legend of Hughes will only grow if he manages to break a few of these records by the end of the regular season. Here’s what he’s currently chasing down.
1. Most points by a rookie defenceman in Canucks history
Current record holder: Dale Tallon (56 points, 1970-71)
Of all the records on this list, this is the only one that seems like a lock, as long as Hughes stays healthy.
It’s nonetheless going to be a major feat if and when Hughes does break this record. Dale Tallon set the record in the Canucks inaugural season. The fact that his record stood for 50 years is both an impressive feat, and a sad indictment on the Canucks history of defenceman.
Hughes will help the Canucks forget about all of that once he smashes Tallon’s record.
2. Most assists by a defenceman in Canucks history
Current record holder: Dennis Kearns (55 assists, 1976-77)
All locks are out the window with these five remaining records, but this is one that Hughes is currently on pace to break.
With 42 assists in 61 games, Hughes has registered 0.68 assists per game. If he keeps up that pace over the next 20 games, that gives him another 13.6 assists.
Of course, there are no half-assists in hockey, but let’s remember that Hughes has gotten better over each 20 game stretch of the season. Based on his current pace, this is a record that seems completely attainable.
3. Most points by a defenceman in Canucks history
Current record holder: Doug Lidster (63 points, 1986-87)
With 29 points in his first 40 games of the season, Hughes was on pace for 59 points. An impressive total that made it seem possible that Hughes could challenge for Doug Lidster’s record.
Now that he’s up to 50 points with 20 games remaining, this is another record that Hughes is primed to smash.
Quinn Hughes of the @Canucks is averaging 0.82 points-per-game this season and is on pace to record 66 points in 2019-20.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 26, 2020
Only four rookie defensemen have hit that mark in a season: Larry Murphy (76), Brian Leetch (71), Gary Suter (68) and Phil Housley (66). #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/S53Gld9z2i
He would need 14 points over his final 20 games to break this franchise record. After seeing Hughes early in his career, you figured he would break this record eventually.
In his rookie year though? That would have been a bold take, but nothing seems impossible for the best defenceman in Canucks history.
4. Canucks rookie scoring record
Current record holder: Elias Pettersson (66 points, 2018-19)
Do you remember when we were all over the moon about Pettersson finally breaking Pavel Bure’s record?
Well, get ready to pop the champagne once again if Hughes can best his formidable teammate.
If Hughes keep scoring at a point-per-game pace over the Canucks final 20 contests, he’ll break the 12-month-old record set by Pettersson last year.
5. Most assists by a rookie defenceman
Current record holder: Larry Murphy (60 assists, 1980-81)
Nevermind the Canucks franchise records, this is where things start getting real serious.
As of writing, Hughes has 42 assists in 61 games. With 20 games in the season to go, Hughes would need 18 assists to tie the record, and 19 to break it.
Here’s your friendly reminder, once again, that Hughes has 17 assists in his last 21 games. If he can once again score at a higher clip over the final 20 games, then this record could be his.
6. Most points by a rookie defenceman. Ever.
Current record holder: Larry Murphy (76 points, 1980-81)
Although both Hughes and Cale Makar were lighting the league on fire early in the season, the defenceman rookie scoring record set by Larry Murphy seemed far out of reach.
Now? The Canucks rookie phenom at least has a shot at the title.
Hughes would need to go on a tear of posting 26 points over his final 20 games to tie Murphy’s nearly 40-year-old record. A tall task for sure, but Hughes has us thinking about this with his continuous improvement throughout the season.
The hype is certainly here in Vancouver, just listen to Jeff Paterson of TSN 1040 trying to lead the Hughes-hype train.
LISTEN @patersonjeff: Hughes pushing 70 points is not out of the question; Demko shutting door with 2-0 deficit another show of #canucks solid situational goaltending this season— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) February 26, 2020
We love the enthusiasm J-Pat, but just remember that our own Kyle Bhawan has been calling Hughes “the best defenceman in Canucks history” since the beginning of the season.
If he breaks more than a couple of these records, it’s going to be hard to argue against Kyle.