Tonight will be a special one, not only because this is the 7th last home game of the season for the Ottawa Senators. But because tonight features a trio of best friends who will face off for the first time in the NHL.
Norris and Hughes are particularly close, as they frequently talk to each other, by texting or by FaceTime. They have known each other since four years ago when they were members of the U.S. National Development Team or USNDP.
It was inevitable that they would eventually be separated and go their separate ways, but luckily two thirds of the trio are members of the same NHL club, the Ottawa Senators.
More from SenShot
- Crunch. Crush. Grind. Mash. The Tyler Kleven Story
- Belleville Senators: What To Expect In 2023-24
- Daniel Alfredsson and Marian Hossa Hit The Ice One Final Time
- Ottawa Senators: Something’s Got to Give
- Hot Pierre Summer 2.0? Let’s Talk About The Ottawa Senators Offseason So Far!
Norris was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the first round (19th overall) in 2017, while Tkachuk and Hughes were each selected in the first round (4th and 7th respectively) in the 2018 draft.
Tkachuk went to the Ottawa Senators while Hughes ended up with the Vancouver Canucks.
But right before the 2018-19 season was set to begin, Erik Karlsson was shipped off to the San Jose Sharks from the Senators. Josh Norris was part of the package that went to Ottawa.
Although these two are part of the same franchise, they haven’t played together substantially yet, as Tkachuk made it right to the NHL after he was drafted. Norris played another season for the University of Michigan, before making the jump to pro.
He played the entire year so far in Belleville of the American Hockey League, aside from a one game call up recently.
He leads the B-Sens in scoring this year with 58 points (30 G 28 A), and is tied for third in the AHL.
He was called up today to play on a line with Tkachuk, as the coach D.J. Smith hopes to create some chemistry between the college teammates at the NHL level.