On Saturday afternoon, for only the second time in their hockey-playing lives, brothers Quinn and Jack Hughes will line up on opposite sides of the ice. And this time they will do it wearing NHL uniforms, just as they had dreamed of while playing on outdoor rinks growing up, honing their preternatural skill and creativity.
Plenty of siblings have played against each other in the NHL over the years, from the Staals to the Espositos to the Niedermayers. But few have met on the ice at such a young age -- Quinn turned 20 on Monday, and Jack is only 18 -- and as such highly-touted rookies.
Jack, a center who went first overall in the 2019 NHL draft to the New Jersey Devils, was ESPN's No. 1-ranked NHL-affiliated prospect heading into the season. Quinn, a defenseman drafted seventh overall in 2018 by the Vancouver Canucks, was slotted at No. 4. Both are viewed as legitimate threats to win the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year.
It all makes Saturday's 1 p.m. ET matchup involving the Devils and Canucks an extra special one, featuring two of the brightest, budding American stars in the game. It will also be unfamiliar territory for a pair of brothers who have spent hours on the ice together growing up, but very little time in competitive games, whether on the same team or not.