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NHL Draft

Hughes passes Ovechkin for World U-18 points record

Projected No. 1 pick of 2019 NHL Draft helps U.S. win bronze medal @NHLdotcom

Jack Hughes, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, had a goal and two assists to pass Alex Ovechkin for most points at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship and help the United States to a 5-2 win against Canada in the bronze medal game at Fjallraven Center in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, on Sunday.

The 17-year-old center for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program under-18 team finished with 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) in 14 games at the U-18, including a tournament-high 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in seven games, with career point No. 32 an assist on Cam York's power-play goal 15:18 into the second period to give the U.S. a 4-1 lead. He had a tournament-best 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 2018.

Ovechkin held the previous record of 31 points (23 goals, eight assists) in 14 games for Russia at the 2002 and 2003 tournaments. Hughes (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) finished one point behind Russia forward Nikita Kucherov, who had 21 points in 2011, for the single-tournament record.

"This is a pretty cool tournament, pretty cool event," Hughes said. "I'm lucky to be able to participate in it twice. It's been two pretty good runs. It's really cool to be on top of that ranking."

There is a chance Hughes could next join the United States at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia beginning May 10. He finished with 112 points (34 goals, 78 assists) in 50 games this season and holds NTDP records in points (228) and assists (154) in 110 games.

United States right wing Cole Caufield (5-7, 162), No. 8 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, led the 2019 World U-18s with 14 goals, tying Ovechkin's single-tournament record set in 2002. Caufield had 18 points in seven tournament games.

The U.S. earned a medal for a record 16th straight year at the U-18s, including nine championships, four second-place finishes and three third-place finishes. It lost 3-2 in a shootout against Russia in the semifinal round Saturday.

"It's just a really special group," Hughes said. "It [stinks] we didn't end up with gold. I still think we're the best team in this tournament. I think a lot of other people think that. To come out here, it's kind of a gut check. That kind of shows our character, shows how good we are. To come out here and beat the Canadians like that, it was a lot of fun to win our last game like that."

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