Film Room: Quinn Hughes has taken his game to the highest level this season

Saying that the Vancouver Canucks are off to a scorching start to the season almost feels like it's not doing proper justice to the type of outlandish score lines they've been producing with stunning regularity. They're 9-2-1, with their last regulation loss coming all the way back on October 19th. 

But while their record is rivalled by teams like the Golden Knights, Bruins, and Rangers, there's really no remote comparable for their goal differential. They've absolutely walloped everyone they've faced over the past couple of weeks, outscoring their opposition this year by a 54-24 margin that just sounds downright fake. 

There's certainly been no shortage of outstanding individual performances that you can point to as reasons for that level of success. Whether it's Elias Pettersson leading the league in scoring, Thatcher Demko having more shutouts than games where he's allowed more than two goals against, or the J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser duo combining for 17 goals already, pretty much everyone on the team is posting video game numbers early on. 

But none of them have had as profound of an impact on the entire operation as Quinn Hughes has. He's elevated his game to an entirely different stratosphere this year, forcing his way firmly into the conversation of the very best players at this position (which has been reflected by the awards betting market, where he is currently a slight favourite over Cale Makar for the Norris Trophy). 

There's simply no shortage of superlatives to describe his performance thus far. Considering the type of responsibility he shoulders as the newly minted captain of this Canucks team, in terms of both high-leverage minutes and puck touches, he's played about as flawless an 12 games as you could draw up coming out of the gate. Let's celebrate it by taking a closer look at just how he's done it, and why it's been so impactful.

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NHL Vancouver Canucks NHL Quinn Hughes
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