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NHL Draft

2019 Draft Diary: Jack Hughes

No. 1 pick grateful, excited after selected by Devils

by Jack Hughes / Special to NHL.com

Jack Hughes, the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, has been writing a monthly diary this season for NHL.com. The 18-year-old center, the brother of Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes, had 112 points (34 goals, 78 assists) in 50 games for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program Under-18 team. He set NTDP records for assists (154) and points (228) in 110 games in two seasons with the program. In his final entry, Hughes wraps up his season after being drafted by the New Jersey Devils.

Hello hockey fans.

There are so many emotions for me right now after being picked by the New Jersey Devils No. 1 in the NHL Draft. First of all, I'm really thankful to everyone that's gotten me here. This is everything you work for and I'm blessed and thankful to the people who have gotten me where I am today. 

 

[RELATED: Hughes takes in Draft after being selected No. 1 | Complete 2019 NHL Draft coverage]

 

I'm grateful to all the people who came to see me at the draft. It's not an easy travel to come out to Vancouver, so for them to all come out here and support me was awesome.

The only time I really got nervous was when [Devils general manager] Ray Shero was talking up there for two minutes. It was a hectic day, because we had 60-plus friends and family members, camera crews, coming in and out of our room. But I'm really happy with how it ended.

It was surreal to hear Martin Brodeur call my name. He's awesome and one of the best players to play with the organization, so for him to call my name was a special moment.

It's been great speaking to the Devils during the interviews and dinners these last few weeks. They are all great people, easygoing, and relaxed. They all were really impressive and I know it's a great organization. They made the playoffs two seasons ago and just missed out last year because of injuries. There are a lot of great players on the Devils, and it's a team that's right there, so I'm blessed to be a part of it now.

[Ray] is a beaut. He's a great guy and smart hockey person. He built the Pittsburgh Penguins into Stanley Cup teams and I'm sure he's building a good team in New Jersey too.

I'm going to train in Toronto with Taylor Hall over the summer, get to know him even more, so that'll be good. My plan now is to play in the NHL, so I'm going to try and have a good summer and get ready to go for main camp.

I've worked my whole life for this, so to be in this moment now is awesome. I think my work ethic and my internal motor are two things that will translate well to the NHL; those things will never leave me. I think the way I push the pace and play the game, that will stay with me forever.

Video: Hughes' "fired up" to be a Devil, training with Hall

I know Taylor and am excited to be on his team. I don't know Nico [Hischier] but look forward to meeting him. The Devils have a rich history and they really wanted me, so I'm excited to get started. Hopefully the Devils fans were cheering for me. I hope we have a lot of great years to come, and I know they're really passionate, so I'm so excited to be a part of that organization.

It's been an awesome week in Vancouver. It's everything I wanted it to be and I'm so thankful for everyone here supporting me. I'm so happy to be a New Jersey Devil.

We had eight NTDP players selected in the first round and that was great to see. I couldn't help but look at the picks being made when I was doing the interviews; I'm looking out for my NTDP friends. I'm going to be cheering for my buddies from the program on Saturday too. It was such a great group of guys and they are all exceptional hockey players.

Thank you for reading all season, everyone. It's been a lot of fun.

 

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