One way or another there will be a major announcement today, but everyone is already expecting this one to go one way.
As fans of the Vancouver Canucks will already know there has been plenty of talk lately regarding the National Hockey League future of 19 year old defenseman Quinn Hughes. Hughes, who was selected 7th overall in the 2018 National Hockey League Entry Draft, and his University of Michigan Wolverines were recently eliminated from playoff contention, a move that many believe has paved the road for Hughes to begin his NHL career effective immediately.
Well according to a report from Sportsnet's National Hockey League insider John Shannon, he has been informed by a Canucks source that the organization now expects to hear positive news from Hughes at some point later today. Although Shannon does not put it in so many words this would clearly imply that the Canucks have secured a commitment from Hughes and he will be joining their roster in short order. This means Hughes would leave the University of Michigan and would become a full time NHL player but there are some downsides to such a move for the Canucks however.
Signing Hughes would obviously be huge for the Canucks and especially general manager Jim Benning as they would certainly not want to see a player like Hughes go the route of someone like New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey, although admittedly that would be extremely unlikely for such a high pick in the draft. It will cost them however as signing Hughes would immediately burn the first year of his entry level contract with the Canucks who are in the midst of what is a lost season at this point barring a miraculous turn of events.
This is no mistake by Benning however as there is no doubt that he is fully aware of this consequence, instead it was likely an incentive offered to Hughes in an effort to get him to leave school immediately for the NHL rather than return to the University of Michigan for what would be his third year with that program. It will cost the Canucks a year of control but if they feel having Hughes in their system and developing immediately is best for their long term future I can hardly fault Benning for utilizing this tactic.