Hughes finished the 2019-20 campaign with just seven goals, 21 points and an ugly minus-26 rating in 61 games. Hughes was just 18 years old for the entirety of the season and simply didn't look physically ready for the NHL at times, but you don't see No. 1 overall picks playing in the minors anymore. The American pivot still has an exceedingly bright future ahead of him, and there's no reason to believe that he won't ultimately live up to his lofty expectations, particularly once New Jersey's supporting cast begins to improve.
Hughes posted two shots and a minus-2 rating across 18:05 in Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the Blues. Hughes flanked Nico Hischier on the first line in this contest, as the 18-year-old shifted away from his natural center position. Considering the rookie has just 12 even-strength points over 51 games, this could aid his transition to the NHL ranks. Hughes has flashed his upside this year by utilizing his high-end skating abilities to split defenders and make plays, but it seems his fantasy value is best-suited for dynasty formats and deep redraft leagues at this time. Nevertheless, increased top-six duties should raise his ceiling going forward.
Hughes was benched in the second period of Thursdays 6-5 shootout loss to the Predators, reports Mike Morreale of NHL.com. His coach Alain Nasreddine said Hughes' game lacked "effort, attention to detail, getting involved and engaged in the game." The benching for the young phenom, who failed to record a point in the high-scoring affair, was intended to be a quick reset. The kid is competitive, so watch for Hughes to show his coach something next game out.
Hughes (illness) will be back in action against the Capitals on Thursday, Amanda Stein of the Devils' official site reports. Hughes logged just 7:15 of ice time against the Maple Leafs on Tuesday before his illness forced him to leave the game. With the center healthy, he is set to return to a third-line role while reclaiming his spot on the power play. The 18-year-old has notched six goals and 11 helpers in 38 appearances this season and could still challenge for the 40-point mark.
Hughes won't return to Tuesday's game versus the Maple Leafs due to an illness, Amanda Stein of the Devils' official site reports. Hughes left the bench in the second period and returned, but he's been shut down for the rest of the contest. The 18-year-old finished with 7:15 of ice time and a minus-1 rating. The Devils have two more stops on the road trip, and he'll look to get healthy for Thursday's matchup versus Washington.
Last 7 Games
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