Newark, NJ – Adam Fantilli had a historic freshman season taking home the Hobey Baker Award as the top Division I men’s college hockey player. The freshman center scored 30 goals and 65 points for the University of Michigan leading the NCAA in both categories. Part of what went into Fantilli’s success was watching all of Wolverine’s teammate and New Jersey Devils defenseman Luke Hughes’ success. Hughes inspired Fantilli to believe he could have a successful NHL career.
“To watch what he did was amazing,” Fantilli said on the latest episode of Spittin’ Chiclets. “We were all sitting on the couch watching him play those games. When he scored in overtime, we were losing our minds. That was amazing. Practicing against guys like him… it gives you a sense of confidence to be able to say ‘yeah I practiced with these guys, they’re going in and succeeding.’ It’s a little reassuring in that sense. Those are phenomenal hockey players. They’re gonna go through their own battles but to see them succeed is great.”
Fantilli went on to talk about how Luke wasn’t the only influential Hughes in his life. Jack and Luke’s father, Jim, had a small part in Fantilli’s decision to continue his development in the USHL when Fantilli played for the Chicago Steel.
The Hughes family has done quite well for themselves as all three of Quinn, Jack, and Luke are all successful NHLers. All of that success has now turned into inspiration for others like Fantilli as the Hughes family makes their mark in the hockey community.
Let’s get to some news.
New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Hockey Now: Some familiar names showed up in Devils’ transactions on Thursday. The Utica Comets signed the son of Martin Brodeur, Jeremy, to a two-way AHL contract. Tom Fitzgerald’s son, Ryan, is anticipated to be next. Brendan Fitzgerald is to be invited to the Devils’ development camp next week.
NJ.com: The Devils’ goaltending situation is unclear as Fitzgerald weighs whether to pay for an upgrade in goal or not. As for Akira Schmid, his focus is remaining in the NHL with New Jersey.
National Hockey Now
Boston Hockey Now: Following an impressive freshman year at Boston College playing in the NCAA, Bruins prospect Andre Gasseau is making himself noticed at Boston’s development camp.
Florida Hockey Now: Anthony Duclair admits being traded to the Sharks was a little shocking at first. However, he states that the shock quickly turned to excitement.
San Jose Sharks
San Jose Hockey Now: The Sharks won’t admit they’re in a rebuild. According to Elliotte Friedman, San Jose is looking at the idea of signing forward Vladamir Tarasenko and defenseman Matt Dumba.
Philly Hockey Now: According to reports out of his hometown local newspaper, former Flyers head coach Allain Vigneault says he’s retiring from hockey.
Washington Hockey Now: The Capitals stole Andrew Cristall in the second round of the NHL Draft. On Thursday, they signed him to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Hockey Now: Former sixth overall pick, Filip Zadina, wanted a fresh start with a new team. As a result, the Red Wings placed him on waivers to terminate his contract as Zadina left $4.56 million on the table to gamble on himself.
Los Angeles Kings
LA Hockey Now: Anze Kopitar is still an elite, No.1 center. He was heading into the final year of his contract with Los Angeles. However, he and Rob Blake agreed to terms on a two-year, $14 million contract extension on Thursday.
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