Top-ranked North American prospect for the upcoming NHL Draft Jack Hughes netted a goal and two assists to help lead USA to a 5-2 win over Canada, capturing the bronze medal at the World U-18 Championship.
With the three points, Hughes has 14 goals and 18 assists for 32 points in 14 games at the tournament over the last two years, topping Alex Ovechkin who had 31 points in 14 games. Hughes had 20 points in this year's tournament (9 goals, 11 assists), one shy of Nikita Kucherov's record of 21 in a single tourney.
"This is a pretty cool tournament, pretty cool event," Hughes told NHL.com. "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."
Hughes assisted on Alex Turcotte's goal eight minutes into the game to open the scoring. With 54 seconds to go in the first, Dylan Cozens scored to tie the game. Hughes scored 6:54 into the middle frame to put USA up 2-1 and assisted on Cam York's goal with 4:42 left in the second to make it 4-1 for the Americans.
Each team traded a goal in the third period, making the final 5-2. Despite the disappointment of not getting gold, earning the bronze medal was still an important accomplishment for the club as it helped continue the streak fo 16 straight years earning at least a medal in the tournament for the Americans.
"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."