The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. It was a combination of seven staff writers and over 250 fans that ranked players under the age of 25 as of July 15th, 2020. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production to rank each player. This is our 2020 pre-draft rankings.
We continue the Top 25 Under 25 with winger Aaron Huglen, who was drafted by the Sabres in 2019. Huglen was a fourth-round selection of the Sabres and was picked 102nd overall.
The 19-year-old has previously played with the USHL’s Fargo Force. He appeared in 28 games with the Force in the 2018-19 season, putting up 14 points, and also captained his Roseau High team, where he accrued 52 points in 24 games.
A year prior, in 2018, he scored this memorable “lacrosse” goal for the United States in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup:
All the angles of Aaron Huglen's LAX goal for #USA against Canada in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, goal of the summer for sure pic.twitter.com/C1sOpvDSFh— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) August 11, 2018
Unfortunately, when it comes to the 2019-20 season, there isn’t much to say about Huglen. He missed the entire season due to a back injury suffered during a weightlifting workout in May 2019. Despite not being able to play, practice or even skate, it sounds like he tried to spend as much time around his team as he could. Check out this article from the Grand Forks Herald for more about Huglen’s injury and how he got through the season.
With that said, missing an entire season due to injury certainly has the potential to hurt Huglen’s chances at an NHL career. From here, it’s a matter of watching how he returns from this injury, and what that means both physically and mentally.
It’s also worth noting that Huglen is committed to the University of Minnesota for the 2020-21 season. At this point, his future is up in the air.