The Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL have acquired netminder Liam Hughes from the Edmonton Oil Kings for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft. The 18-year-old Hughes will be playing his second season in the WHL this year.
Last season Hughes played only seven games for the Oil Kings and in doing so posted a record of 1-4-0 with a .895 save percentage and a 3.26 goals-against-average. Liam just missed the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by one month since he was born in July. So he will be eligible next year. And if he has a strong season with the Thunderbirds he could very well be a surprise pick in the middle of the draft or somewhere near the top due to the fact he has tremendous size at 6’1” and 190 pounds.
Hughes has played two games so far in the pre-season this year and has put up a 0-1-0-0 record with a 4.19 goals-against-average with a .889 save percentage. The Thunderbirds general manager Russ Farwell is also excited to have him join the club.
“We are happy to add Liam to our team, he had a good start in the league last year before being injured. He will be a solid addition at a very key position.”
Before joining the WHL, Hughes played 33 games in the OMAHA for the Pursuit of Excellence program. While he put up a goals-against-average of just 3.20 but his save percentage was amazing at .949. The following year he would play 12 games for the Yale Hockey Academy Prep in the CSSHL, the rest of the season he would spend with the Kamloops Storm in the KIJHL.
In 2015-16 season Hughes moved onto the BCMML for the Okanagan Rockets, but after 10 games he was off to the KIJHL once more for the Kamloops Storm. Liam’s second year in the WHL this season will definitely be a good one for him and his progression in hockey.