Quinn Hughes’ Eye for Apples, More Milestones to Reach This Season

By: Brayden Fengler / March 20, 2024  

During the Canucks’ March 16th game against Washington, Quinn Hughes broke the franchise record for points by defencemen in a single season. It was Quinn’s 77th point of the season, putting him above the previous franchise record of 76. Set by Hughes just last year.

With 13 games left in the season, believe it or not, there is still more that the Canucks captain could do to add to his own person-record book, as well as the franchise’s leaderboard.

Assists Milestones for Quinn Hughes

It’s no secret that the bulk of Quinn Hughes’ points come from assists. He’s nearly lapped his previous high in the goals category with 13 on the season. This total beats out his last best season in 2021-22, where he earned eight goals.

Since earning his record-breaking assist against the Capitals last week, Hughes already earned two additional assists and is on pace to hit a handful of impressive assist milestones before the end of the season.

Personal Best in Assists

Hughes has earned 66 assists so far this season, putting him just three apples away from his personal best of 69 assists inside a single season which he earned during last year’s campaign. Quinn is currently on pace to end the season with 78 assists, which would have him beat his previous year’s record by nine assists. Coincidently, last year, Hughes also ended the season by beating his previous assist record by nine points.

Canucks Record – Most Assists in a Season

Right now Hughes sits fourth in assists by a Canucks player, forward or defence, in a single season. Hughes’ position interrupts what would otherwise be a clean sweep of four Henrik Sedin seasons in a row. Henrik takes the fourth and the first to third spots in this category, with his best year in 2009-10 earning 83 assists.

Quinn’s current pace could see him take the two spots away from Henrik’s 2010-11 season, but if he performs above average over the last 13 games, there is a chance, although slim, that Hughes leapfrogs all of Henrik’s assists records.

Canucks Record – Most Assists Per Game in a Season

This year may be Quinn Hughes’ first full 82-game season of his NHL career if he does not see reduced deployment in the lead-up to the playoffs. Although several of Henrik’s seasons are above Quinn’s current and previous seasons in the category of assists overall, Hughes’ campaign this year currently has him in second place for assists per game out of Canucks players in a single season.

Hughes is behind Henrik’s 2009-10 season in this category as well and will need to earn five or more assists above his expected pace to tie or surpass Henrik in this category.

Canucks All-Time Assist Leader

This is not a category that Hughes has any chance of winning out this season alone unless he has 550 more goals under his belt before the halfway mark of April. However, if Quinn remains on pace with assists this season he will surpass Dennis Kearns and become the Canucks’ eighth-highest assist earner in franchise history.

Next season he could likely move up as high as 6th on that list, which would have him sitting just below Markus Naslund who holds the 5th-place position.

League Assists Leader Among Defencemen This Season

Right now Hughes is the leading assist earner among all defencemen across the league. Below Hughes is Cale Makar with 58 points to Hughes’ 66. Both players are unmistakably elite, and each have 13 games left to play in the season.

Makar has been raking up assists at a slower pace than Hughes all season, so unless Quinn hits a slump at the same time that Makar sees an improvement in this category the first-place spot will belong to Hughes by season’s end.

Other Notable Milestones for Quinn Hughes

In addition to all the accomplishments that Quinn Hughes has and will reach with the help of his helpers, There are also a few other more general leaderboard items for Hughes that are worth mentioning.


Quinn Hughes leads the Canucks, and is second place in the league in plus-minus right now. Quinn has a +37 record, beating out his linemate Filip Hronek by a marker of six, and league-wide only falls second to Gustav Forsling, who has a remarkable +48.

Plus-minus is not a sophisticated stat, but when it swings far in either direction it is a marker of a job well done, as being on the ice for 37 more goals for than goals against is no accident. Being that plus-minus is such a volatile stat, in that it can go up just as well as down, there is a chance that Hughes could lead the league here as well by season’s end.


Quinn has 16 points in 17 playoff games played so far in his career, which puts him in 10th place for all-time playoff points by a Defenceman. Are you wondering how the math works on that when the Canucks with Hughes have only played in two rounds? Well, it’s because four of those 16 games were in the Qualifying Round of the 2019-20 season which the NHL counts as part of the playoffs for statistical purposes.

Accepting this as fact, Quinn could quickly jump as high as 7th on this leaderboard once in the playoffs, as spots seven to nine is a three-way tie with 19 points.

If the Canucks and Hughes are lucky and the Canucks go all the way this year, while Hughes maintains his playoff point pace, then the Canucks Captain could find himself sitting right around the two or three spot on this list. This is considering that the average length of an NHL series is 5.64 games long.

This best-case scenario would have Quinn earning around 37 playoff points by the time he lifts the cup. This would sandwich him between two former Canucks on this leaderboard, Alexander Edler with 38 points, and Mattias Ohlund with 28 points.

As lofty of a dream as that sounds, for Quinn Hughes, nothing seems impossible.