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Hughes, Caufield set NTDP records heading toward NHL Draft

Center passes Keller in points, wing eclipses Kessel in goals

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Jack Hughes passes Clayton Keller

Jack Hughes picks up five assists in Team USA victory

Jack Hughes picked up five assists to top Clayton Keller's all-time points record at USA Hockey's National Team Development Program

  • 01:18 •

PLYMOUTH, Mich. -- Jack Hughes and Cole Caufield, forwards projected to be selected in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft, each established a record on the same play when the USA Hockey National Team Development Program defeated Green Bay 12-4 at USA Hockey Arena on Friday.

Caufield set the program record for goals with an assist from Hughes that gave him its points record.

"I mean, we were so proud of each other and we just said, 'Congrats,' and it was just a really special moment," Caufield said. "We worked so hard for this; I can't say enough about my teammates."

Hughes, a center who may be the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, had five assists to give him 190 points (60 goals, 130 assists) in two seasons with the Under-17 and Under-18 NTDP teams. He passed center Clayton Keller, now with the Arizona Coyotes, who had 189 points (71 goals, 118 assists) from 2014-16.

"It's really cool and something I wanted to accomplish," Hughes said. "When you first enter the program, it's kind of far-fetched, but after I had a really good U-17 year, it's something that I kind of wanted to do. To finally do it is really cool, and now I want to kind of push the pace and make the record pretty high (the team has six regular-season games remaining)."

Video: Jack Hughes breaks development program points record

Caufield, who played right wing on a line centered by Hughes, scored a career-high six goals to reach 105 and pass forward Phil Kessel (104 goals from 2003-05), now with the Pittsburgh Penguins, for the NTDP lead.

"Going into the game you just want to win, so I don't think I was lucky, but the puck was bouncing my way, so I can credit my teammates and coaches for that," Caufield said. "It's just a really special night."

Caufield, who scored the six goals on 10 shots, is four goals from tying Auston Matthews, now with the Toronto Maple Leafs, for the most goals in an NTDP season. Matthews scored 55 with the U-18 team in 2014-15.

Hughes (5-foot-10, 168 pounds) has nine multipoint games during a 12-game point streak and 74 points (20 goals, 54 assists) in 36 games this season. He was No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings of North American skaters eligible for the 2019 draft.

Kessel is third on the NTDP list (180 points), followed by Kane (172), a forward for the Chicago Blackhawks; Jeremy Bracco (168), a forward prospect for the Toronto Maple Leafs; and Matthews (167).

"With all the players who have come through the program and being able to pass some of those guys was really cool," Hughes said. "You look at the list with Keller, Auston Matthews and Patrick Kane; it's just cool to be mentioned with them."

Caufield (5-foot-7, 155) has 73 points (51 goals, 22 assists) in 50 games this season, and 153 NTDP points. He was No. 15 among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting midterm rankings.

The record-breaking goal and assist came at 16:54 of the third period.

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