Jack Hughes, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver on June 21-22, is writing a monthly diary this season for NHL.com leading up to the draft. The 17-year-old center, who is the brother of Vancouver Canucks defenseman prospect Quinn Hughes, the No. 7 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, is playing for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program under-18 team and has 56 points (13 goals, 43 assists) in 28 games this season.
In his sixth entry, Hughes talks about his return to the lineup after missing seven games with a lower-body injury and his thoughts on the final stretch of the season.
Hi hockey fans!
I feel good and should be ready to go for this weekend (against Sioux Falls on Friday and at Chicago on Saturday). While I was recovering, I was on the ice, getting my cardio back to where it needs to be, and I was going through rehabilitation, therapy and workouts. The biggest thing was getting back on the ice to get my timing back.
I realize it's important to make certain I'm feeling good each day at this point in the season. My body is what allows me to do what I do. If it's not in the right state, I won't be able to be me. But I'm not too worried about that. I'm kind of just going to play my game and not worry about injuries. It's hockey, so I'll just keep moving forward and whatever happens, happens. I want to help my team.
It was tough not being able to play and be a part of the group at the Under-18 Five Nations Tournament in Russia last week. Obviously, that was a tournament we would have liked to have won but losing two of four games was a wake-up call. We have some work to do and nothing is going to be handed to us come April at the 2019 IIHF World Under-18 Championship (April 18-28) in Sweden. Now we can focus in on winning that gold medal.
To read the full draft diary, click here.