The Washington Capitals drafted Bear Hughes in the fifth round.
With the 148th pick in the NHL Draft, the Washington Capitals selected Bear Hughes, a center from the Spokane Chiefs. Hughes finished with 47 points in 61 games with 16 goals and 31 assists, ranking sixth on the team in points as a rookie.
Hughes hockey career began in 2017-18 with Coeur d’Alene hockey Academy Prep of the CSSHL U18. The next year he joined the Spokane Braves of the KIJHL and scored 41 goals and 25 assists for 66 points. He also scored two goals in two games with the Spokane Chiefs. Last season in the WHL which was his first full season he had 16 goals and 31 assits for 47 points.
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The most exciting part of Bear’s game is that he’s, well, a bear on the puck. Strength allows him to win battles from disadvantage positions and shrug off checks. He keeps the puck across his hips, putting weight over stick and making him tricky to dispossess. With pressure bearing down, he integrates look offs and changes of pace to misdirect defenders.
Hughes was ranked 121st by Elite Prospects, ranked #209 by Future Considerations and ranked #150 by NHL Central Scouting (North American skaters).
The 19 year old will likely remain with the Spokane Chiefs for the 2020-21 season. He joins Hendrix Lapierre as the only other center the Capitals have taken in this year’s draft.
Center is an important position in hockey and this addition shows that the Caps are now well stocked in centers from top to bottom. It’ll be a while until you see Hughes with the varsity squad but perhaps he could one day center the bottom six when Connor McMichael and Lapierre make it to the big leagues.
This is all a wild imagination sure but that’s what the draft is all about.