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NHL Draft

Hughes, top prospects discuss favorite Stanley Cup Final moments

Potential No. 1 pick in 2019 NHL Draft recalls back-to-back titles by Crosby, Penguins

by Tracey Myers @TraMyers_NHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS -- Jack Hughes had several thoughts on his favorite Stanley Cup Final moments but said seeing Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins win the Cup in back-to-back years ranked at the top.

"I think Nashville [Predators]-Pittsburgh [in 2017], San Jose [Sharks]-Pittsburgh [2016] and seeing Sid get back to the top of the mountain after a lot of years there where they were kind of struggling," said Hughes, the potential No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. "So to see them go back to back, that was unbelievable."

Hughes and fellow centers and 2019 draft prospects Alex Turcotte Dylan Cozens and Kirby Dach, as well as defenseman Bowen Byram, were at Enterprise Center on Monday prior to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, TVAS, SN).

 

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The top five players on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters shared their favorite Cup Final memories, as well as their favorite current Blues and Bruins players.

Hughes said he is a fan of Bruins forward David Pastrnak.

"He's a really passionate player, plays with a lot of fun, a lot of enthusiasm," he said. "He's a really fun player to watch, he's highly skilled, so I have a good time watching him."

Dach, who lives in St. Albert, Alberta, went to the 2006 Cup Final between the Carolina Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers. 

"It's a little bit different now that I'm 18 and on the verge of being drafted to the NHL," said Dach, who enjoys watching Blues center Ryan O'Reilly and Bruins forwards Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. "You kind of look at it a little bit different that way. It's a pretty cool experience to be here and kind of hang out with the top five North American skaters."

Turcotte is from Island Lake, Illinois, about 45 miles northwest of Chicago. Naturally, his memories gravitated to the Chicago Blackhawks and their Cup wins in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

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"I would say every Blackhawks Final, yeah," he said. "They're a big part of my childhood and being a die-hard fan, those are some big memories for me."

Cozens, a native of Whitehorse, Yukon, also grew up watching the Blackhawks because his father, Mike, was a fan. He enjoyed watching them "lift a couple of Cups." Cozens said he is a fan of Bergeron's game.

"[With] his two-way game, it's the kind of player I want to be like," Cozens said. "He's just a guy who can play all areas of the game. He's so responsible defensively and offensively. So him for sure."

For Byram, who's from Cranbrook, British Columbia, the Vancouver Canucks defeating the Blackhawks in the 2011 Western Conference Quarterfinals stands out.

"When [Alexandre] Burrows scored in overtime against Chicago in Game 7," he said. "That was pretty cool. It's kind of what I remember growing up and watching the Canucks play. That's probably my favorite playoff moment."

The New Jersey Devils have the No. 1 pick in the draft, which will take place at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on June 21-22. Rounding out the top five are the New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings.

NHL.com staff writer Tim Campbell contributed to this report

 

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