Defenceman Quinn Hughes dons a Vancouver Canucks jersey after the Canucks selected him during the NHL hockey draft in Dallas, Texas, Friday, June 22, 2018. Vancouver hockey fans will have to wait to see the Canucks’ top pick in this year’s NHL draft play with the team. Defenceman Quinn Hughes has decided to return to the University of Michigan this fall. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Michael Ainsworth

Canucks draft pick Quinn Hughes returning to University of Michigan

Smooth-skating defenceman sets sights on NCAA championship with Wolverines

Vancouver hockey fans will have to wait to see the Canucks’ top pick in this year’s NHL draft play with the team.

Defenceman Quinn Hughes has decided to return to the University of Michigan this fall.

The 18-year-old says in an interview with the school’s athletic department that he loves his teammates and believes the Wolverines have what it takes to capture an NCAA championship this season.

RELATED: Canucks tab Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

The seventh overall pick at this year’s NHL draft had five goals and 29 points in 37 games with Michigan last season, when the team was knocked out of the championship semifinals by Notre Dame.

Hughes says Canucks general manager Jim Benning and head coach Travis Green are happy with the decision and are thinking about what’s best for him long term.

Benning has previously said that he feels the five-foot-10, 174-pound defenceman is already an NHL skater, but needs to get physically stronger to play in the league.

After weighing all the options, Hughes says returning to school in Michigan is what makes the most sense.

“My legacy at Michigan’s important to me,” he said. “I want to do something special at Michigan — something that nobody’s ever done.”

The Canadian Press

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