To the surprise of many the New York Rangers traded into the seventh round to acquire the second-to-last pick of the 2018 Draft from the Carolina Hurricanes. With the 216th overall pick, the Rangers selected Riley Hughes, a right winger from Minnesota.
NYR trade into 7th and pick Riley Hughes. One of my fav sleepers.— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) June 23, 2018
St. Seb's RW Riley Hughes, a Northeastern commit, taken 216th by New York Rangers. Has size, skating, shot and vision. Needs to play more in the dirty areas, but has the physical tools.— Jeff Cox (@JeffCoxSports) June 23, 2018
Hughes scored 21 goals in 30 games at St. Sebatastian’s School in 2017-18 and is expected to play for Northeastern University in the fall. He’s 6-foot-1, has a right-handed shot, and was ranked 113 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. He’s very much a hail mary pick, but that is true of everyone selected in the last few rounds. And with that being said, it is definitely intriguing that Corey Pronman considered Hughes one of his “favorite sleepers” of the draft.
At the moment, it is unclear what the Rangers gave up to acquire the pick from the Hurricanes. The 216th overall pick originally belonged to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Hughes was just the third forward that the Rangers selected in the 2018 Draft. He was also the third American the Rangers selected in the draft. The Rangers trading into the seventh round to select Hughes tells us that they definitely had their eyes on him. It is also one more baffling move in a draft that has left many scratching their heads and wondering what Jeff Gorton’s grand plan is.