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NHL Draft

Hughes, projected No. 1 pick of 2019 Draft, near Ovechkin record

Forward has 28 points, three from matching World U-18 mark

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Jack Hughes, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, needs three points to match Alex Ovechkin for most points at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

Hughes has 28 points (13 goals, 15 assists) in 12 games at the event, including a tournament-high 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in five games for the United States at the 2019 World U-18. He had a tournament-best 12 points (seven goals, five assists) at the 2018 event.

He'll have a chance to tie Ovechkin's mark of 31 points (23 goals, eight assists) when the U.S. plays Russia in the semifinals at Fjallraven Center in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, on Saturday (9:30 a.m. ET; NHLN).

The winner will advance to the final to play either Canada or Sweden on Sunday (1:30 p.m. ET; NHLN).

Hughes (5-foot-10, 170 pounds), who plays for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Under-18 Team, had three goals and an assist in a 6-0 win against defending champion Finland in the quarterfinals Thursday.

Ovechkin set the record in 14 games for Russia at the 2002 and 2003 tournaments.

Hughes' 16 points ties Phil Kessel (2005) for the most in one World U-18 by a U.S.-born player and is tied for the fifth-most among all players. The record is 21 points by Nikita Kucherov of Russia at the 2011 World U-18. Toni Rajala of Finland is second with 19 points (2009), and Ovechkin (2002) and Mikhail Grigorenko of Russia (2011) are tied for third with 18 points. 

U.S. right wing Cole Caufield (5-7, 162), No. 8 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, leads the 2019 World U-18s with 12 goals and needs two to tie Ovechkin's single-tournament record of 14 in 2002.

Caufield's 16 career goals at the World U-18 are tied with Kessel for most by a U.S.-born player and third-most all-time, behind Ovechkin (23) and Teemu Pulkkinen (17). Caufield scored four goals in seven games for the U.S. at the 2018 World U-18.

The U.S. has won seven of the past 10 World U-18 Championships and will try to take home a medal for a record 16th straight year. The U.S. lost 3-2 against Finland in the 2018 tournament final. 

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