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Victoria hockey fans now have a second reason to head to The Q Centre this winter to watch the Victoria Grizzlies, an offensively-talented NHL draft pick.

New York Rangers product Riley Hughes of Boston will join Alex Newhook, who is expected to be drafted in June of 2019. Newhook is the 2017-2018 British Columbia Hockey League Rookie of the Year.

Hughes was impressive last season at St. Sebastien High School. He picked up 21 goals and 15 assists for a total of 36 points in just 30 games. He apparently is the full package at 6’1” and 175 pounds, he possesses a great shot release, elite vision and is an excellent skater.

Hughes will apparently add to the offensive talent that Newhook already provides. The addition will give the Grizzlies options and should bring out the fans, who typically have had to make a choice between the Victoria Royals and the Grizzlies, as well as five different Junior-B teams that are in the capital region. The schedules almost always conflict. Apparently, for the first time, the BCHL and the Western Hockey League have communicated about the Grizzlies and Royals schedule and there have been adjustments, so that there may be less conflict for the 2018-2019 season, which is great news for local hockey fans.

He also happens to be the son of Kent Hughes, who is an agent for the NHL Player’s Association and a former college player at Middlebury College. The younger Hughes was drafted by Sioux City of the 2016 USHL Draft, and in the 13th round of the QMJHL Draft by the Gatineau Olympiques.

The 18-year-old Hughes was drafted in the seventh round and was picked 216th overall in the June 2018.