Canucks name Quinn Hughes captain

Canucks name Quinn Hughes captain

The Vancouver Canucks named defenseman Quinn Hughes the 15th captain in franchise history Monday.

“It means a great deal to me to be named captain of the Canucks,” Hughes said in a statement. “When I came here five years ago, I knew what I was walking into having grown up in Toronto; just a crazy hockey market and a passionate fan base.

“It has been a pleasure and treat to play for this franchise, and to be the captain is something that is incredibly special and something that I couldn’t ever imagine would happen.”

Hughes succeeds Bo Horvat, who was traded to the New York Islanders in January. The 23-year-old is the first rearguard to don the “C” for the Canucks since 1991 when Doug Lidster shared the honor with Dan Quinn and Trevor Linden. A blue-liner hasn’t been the captain of the Canucks on a full-time basis since Kevin McCarthy from 1979 to 1982.

Though he’s entering just his sixth season in the NHL, Hughes has already built a strong reputation. He became the fastest defenseman to hit 200 career assists in March by accomplishing the feat in just 263 games. Hughes posted a career-high 76 points in 78 games in 2022-23, breaking his own record – set in the previous campaign – for the most points by a defenseman in a single season in franchise history.

Hughes served as an alternate captain for the first time last season.

“Quinn is such a competitor, workhorse, and offseason rink rat,” head coach Rick Tocchet said. “There are lot of ways to lead, and Quinn does it by example and by always giving his teammates, coaches, and organization the upmost respect.

“When he does address the locker room, it is very powerful and his growth and maturation in just the short time I have been here is very impressive. Quinn isn’t afraid to get uncomfortable and voice his thoughts during both good and bad times which says a lot about his character and desire to win.”

The Canucks selected Hughes with the seventh overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. He’s amassed 26 goals and 241 points in 283 games since his NHL debut in 2018-19.

In February, Horvat said Pettersson would get his vote to take over as captain. Vancouver general manager Patrik Allvin said the Canucks were “enthusiastic and supportive” of the team’s decision to give the mantle to Hughes.

“He is very well liked and respected inside our dressing room, and we know he will continue to grow and develop his leadership skills in the years to come,” Allvin said.

Hughes has four seasons remaining on his current deal and carries a cap hit of $7.85 million.

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