Each week, this column will highlight news for NHL prospects and 2019 draft-eligible players, with a close eye on U.S. men's college hockey, and share some thoughts from recent prospect viewings as we look ahead to June's 2019 NHL draft.
This weekend marked the beginning of the end of the college hockey season. As a result, especially talented drafted players on these rosters are due to be approached by their respective NHL clubs and extended contracts.
UConn goaltender Adam Huska, a seventh-round pick by the New York Rangers in 2014, kicked off the departures when he signed with the club following the conclusion of the Huskies' season. He didn't have far to go, as the Rangers' AHL affiliate shares a building with UConn men's hockey in downtown Hartford.
But Sunday marked a much higher-profile exit. Michigan standout Quinn Hughes saw his sophomore season prematurely end at the hands of Minnesota in the Big Ten conference playoffs, leading to an entry-level deal with the Vancouver Canucks, who selected him seventh overall last summer. Hughes did sustain an apparent injury while blocking a shot in Game 1 of the Big Ten playoffs but played Game 2, albeit clearly not at 100 percent. It will be interesting to see just how ready he'll be to play games for the Canucks, but he is expected in Vancouver on Tuesday.