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Hughes, projected No. 1 pick of 2019 Draft, to play for U.S. at Worlds

Forward could face Finland's Kakko, NHL Central Scouting's top-rated International skater @NHLdotcom

Jack Hughes, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, will play for the United States at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia from May 10-26.

The 17-year-old center, No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2019 draft, will become the youngest U.S. player ever at the World Championship.

Among his teammates will be his brother, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes.


[RELATED: Hughes tops 2019 NHL Draft final ranking of North American skaters]


Jack Hughes led USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Under-18 team this season with 112 points (34 goals, 78 assists) in 50 games, and set the all-time NTDP record for assists (154) and points (228) in two seasons with the program.

He had 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) while captain of the United States at the 2019 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Sweden, helping to win a bronze medal with a 5-2 win against Canada on Sunday. He set a record for most points at the event with 32 (14 goals, 18 assists) in 14 games between the 2018 and 2019 World U-18 Championship.

Alex Ovechkin had the previous record of 31 points (23 goals, eight assists) in 14 games for Russia at the 2002 and 2003 tournaments.

The United States will open preliminary-round play at the World Championship against Slovakia at Steel Arena in Kosice on May 10. Also in Group A are Canada, Finland, Germany, Denmark, France and Great Britain. Group B consists of Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Norway, Latvia, Austria and Italy.

All U.S. games will be televised on NHL Network. That includes the game against Finland on May 13, when Hughes could play against Finland forward Kaapo Kakko, the No. 1 skater on Central Scouting's final ranking of International skaters and the player expected to be chosen No. 2 in the draft.

The New Jersey Devils won the NHL Draft Lottery and have the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft. The New York Rangers have the No. 2 selection.

Hughes could become the eighth U.S.-born player chosen No. 1 in the NHL Draft, joining forwards Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs, 2016), Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks, 2007), Mike Modano (Minnesota North Stars, 1988) and Brian Lawton (North Stars, 1983); defensemen Erik Johnson (St. Louis Blues, 2006) and Bryan Berard (Ottawa Senators, 1995); and goalie Rick DiPietro (New York Islanders, 2000).

USA Hockey also announced that Rangers defenseman prospect Adam Fox and Ottawa Senators defenseman Christian Wolanin have been added to the U.S. roster, which includes 23 players (three goalies, seven defensemen, 13 forwards).

Fox was traded to the Rangers by the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday for a second-round pick in 2019 and a conditional third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The right-hand shot had 48 points (nine goals, 39 assists) in 33 games as a junior at Harvard University and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top NCAA men's hockey player this season.

Wolanin, a fourth-round pick (No. 107) in the 2015 NHL Draft, had 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 30 games for the Senators this season.


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