VANCOUVER, BC - This year, the U.S. National Team Development Program is poised for a record season with as many as five players projected to go in the top 10 of the draft.
Jack Hughes was asked why the program is so successful.
"The training we do there is second to none. Our practices, our games. We lift two, three times a week. It's so competitive. The players you go up against, you're playing the best players in the country in your age group on a daily basis," he began. "When I go in a puck battle, I have to go against Boldy one time and Turcotte the next time or going against Zegras. That just makes you a better player."
"It's a really competitive environment with great people. The coaches treat us unbelievable," he continued. "Credit to the people that work at the program because they really helped us out."
Quinn Hughes echoed the thoughts of his brother.
"It makes you develop faster than a normal kid. When I was 15, we were getting up at 7 for school, going to the rink at 12, having study hall for an hour, skating, we had a military guy that put us through push-ups and wouldn't be home until 7:30 and we're 15 year old. Nobody else is doing that," he stated. "You do that for two years and all of a sudden, your game takes off."
Devils Director of Scouting Paul Castron chimed in on the success of the program.
"Well, it's a special group for sure. They're looking to have maybe six or seven guys go in the first round. I think the high before this year was three. It's an amazing group of kids. Very talented. They're going to have successful careers."