In a tweet on February 22nd, NHL Network analyst stated “Quinn Hughes might be the most dynamic defenceman in the NHL with the puck… And he’s a 20-year old rookie.” This in short shows how remarkable Quinn’s rookie season has been.
Calder debates aside, Quinn is having not just a phenomenal, but historical rookie season. He is putting up numbers we haven’t seen from a rookie defenceman in nearly 30 years (27 to be exact – Vladimir Malakhov most recently did it with the Islanders in 1993).
But that’s common knowledge at this point. What about the other numbers?
Hughes’s 0.67 assists per game lead ALL active defenceman for their rookie campaign. The only defenceman to have a higher assists per game EVER are as follows: Brian Leetch, Larry Murphy, Chris Chelios, Stefan Persson, and Mark Howe. Pretty elite company.
His adjusted total points (which in the words of hockey-reference.com, means “to account for different schedule lengths, roster sizes, and scoring environments… All statistics have been adjusted to an 82-game schedule with a maximum roster size of 18 skaters and league averages of 6 goals per game and 1.67 assists per goal”) is 65.
That is good for third all time behind 1929-30 Ebbie Goodfellow and 1979-80 Mark Howe. His adjusted total assists is tied for first all time with Ebbie Goodfellow (55).
For this current year, Quinn is already near the top for some stats regarding the entire NHL, not just rookies. Quinn is tied for 21st in PGF (powerplay goals for) as a rookie. He is fourth in points and assists for ALL defenceman, and is also fourth in powerplay points for defenceman.
And the scary thing is, he is doing this for a playoff team (for now, at least) and doesn’t even rank in the top 50 for ice time for players of his position. He is a 20 year old piggy-backing an elite power-play unit. He plays with such a calm and skilled demeanor.
If he finishes strong, he can break Doug Lidster’s franchise points record for a defenceman (63 in 1986-87). He would need 12 points in 18 games to tie it at the very least. But what Quinn is probably worrying about is making the playoffs, not some lousy statistics.
Quinn, along with the other guy (Cale Makar) are the consensus future of NHL defenceman. Quinn and Cale will make an awesome rivalry for years to come, and will bring endless amounts of debate and entertainment to those who watch in the coming not only years, but decades.