Canucks fans could get used to this.
On Thursday night, against the Los Angeles Kings, rookie defenceman Quinn Hughes made his NHL debut.
And oh boy, was it ever fun to watch.
As early as the game had begun, fans across Rogers Arena began chanting: “We want Hughes!”
The 19-year-old would end up skating for 15:36 of the game, netting two shots on goal and going even in the process.
From a defensive standpoint, Hughes was solid. He was smart, he moved the puck well, and aside from a few missed checks, his positioning was great.
Then, of course, there was this play in the second period:
The rookie put his skating ability on display and drove the puck in from LA’s blue line.
He banks the puck off the back of the net to shake off his check, and after opening up to the front of the net, he takes a quality shot on netminder Johnathan Quick.
He doesn’t end up scoring, but teammate Brock Boeser buries the rebound, giving Hughes a very impressive first NHL point.
To make his debut even more electric, when the Kings took the game to overtime, the Florida-native got the call with star-studded teammates Boeser and Elias Pettersson.
The three young guns put some serious skill on display – Hughes even attempted a nifty no-look pass to Pettersson that almost found him.
Then, seconds later, he drew out Quick from his crease in a scoring opportunity that almost sealed the deal for Vancouver.
The match continued into overtime and to set his debut in stone, Hughes got a chance in the shootout. He received a roar of support from Vancouver fans and although he was denied, the Canucks sealed the game moments later with a goal from Tanner Pearson.
“That was fun to watch,” said Thatcher Demko, when asked about overtime. “I felt like a spectator for a second. Just watching those guys move the puck and make those reads off each other was really special.”
“I want to play my best hockey here and produce and do what I can to pitch in here, so it’s nice to do that,” said Hughes.”The first couple of shifts I just tried to feel it out.”
“From game one to game two, I’ll be more confident and just keep building.”
And Canucks fans can’t wait to see that.