The 2018-19 rookie class, while talented, was top heavy. There figures to be much more depth this coming season. In addition, there are upwards of a dozen players expected to make their full-time NHL debuts this season who project as potential top-line forwards or number-one defenders down the road. The NHL is becoming a young man's league, and this is the result.
The Brothers Hughes
Jack Hughes (C-NJ): The first overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Hughes has all the makings of a franchise number-one pivot. His vision is exceptional, his speed is top notch, and most impressively, his brain thinks as quickly as his feet move. There may be a slight learning curve as Hughes, who is undersized, adapts to the rigors of the NHL game, but the production (particularly on the power play) figures to arrive in short order. The addition of Hughes combined with a healthy Taylor Hall and the acquisition of defenseman P.K. Subban have New Jersey thinking about a return trip to the postseason after spending this past spring on the sidelines.
Quinn Hughes (D-VAN): Jack's older brother, Quinn left the University of Michigan following the completion of his sophomore season and immediately signed with the Canucks in March. He posted three assists in five games with Vancouver. The 19-year-old isn't a great one-on-one defender, but his body control and escape ability are remarkable, and he's ready to run an NHL power play right now. The Canucks are at least another season away