Jack Hughes, Cole Caufield set two USNTDP records on same play

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USA's Jack Hughes. (Carlos Osorio/CP/AP)

A pair of first-round 2019 NHL Draft prospects set two USA Hockey National Team Development Program records on the same play Friday night in Plymouth, Mich.

Jack Hughes assisted a Cole Caufield goal in the third period of a dominant win for the under-18 team over Green Bay, giving Hughes the USNTDP points record with 190 and Caufield the program’s goals record with 105.

Caufield racked up six goals in the 12-4 victory, while Hughes chipped in with five assists.

Hughes, 17, broke the points record previously held by Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller, and has now accumulated 60 goals and 130 assists over the last two seasons with the National Team Development Program.

Caufield’s 105 markers ended Phil Kessel‘s reign as the USNTDP goal-scoring leader, an honour the Pittsburgh Penguins star had held since 2005. The 18-year-old winger has 153 points for the program and is now four goals from breaking Auston Matthews‘ USNTDP record for most goals in a season – the Toronto Maple Leafs centre scored 55 in 2014-15.

Hughes currently tops NHL Central Scouting’s rankings of North American skaters eligible for the upcoming draft, but was recently overtaken by 18-year-old Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko for the No. 1 spot in Sportsnet’s 2019 NHL Draft Prospect Rankings. Kakko, who is No. 1 in Central Scouting’s European rankings, recently set a record of his own, breaking the goals record for a first-time draft eligible player in the Liiga, Finland’s top professional league. Kakko’s 21st goal broke the previous mark set by Florida Panthers’ Aleksander Barkov in 2012-14.

Caufield ranks 15th in the NHL Central Scouting rankings and holds the same position in Sportsnet’s prospect rankings.

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