The New Jersey Devils own the NHL leading scorer, Jack Hughes. Unfortunately, Hughes was unable to add to his league-leading 20 points on Friday night. The Devils forward left New Jersey’s tilt against the St. Louis Blues nine minutes into the first period with an upper-body injury.
Hughes took a hard hit a few games ago that had some wondering if he might have been dealing with a nagging injury. However, tonight’s incident was more definitive. The Devils franchise forward gained St. Louis’ zone, worked the puck past the defense, and got a shot off on net. However, following the scoring chance, Hughes went down to the ice and slid hard into the boards below the goal line. The 22-year-old center crashed into the boards on his right side.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 4, 2023
Hughes stayed down on the ice following the collision for what felt like hours but was just about 20 seconds. He skated off on his own, however, clearly in pain hunched over. Hughes stayed on the bench and actually didn’t leave right away, taking his next shift for 59 seconds. Unfortunately, he headed down the tunnel and went to the locker room shortly after. Despite pressure from Justin Faulk and to an extent, Jordan Binnington, no call was made on the play. It doesn’t appear either play caused the fall.
Hughes didn’t return for the second or third period of the game.
The Devils are already without captain and top-six center Nico Hischier. There’s no clear timeline on how much time both centers will miss, if any for Hughes. Hischier has already been sidelined for three games and is not on the team’s current road trip.
Head coach Lindy Ruff provided no update following the Devils’ 4-1 loss to the Blues other than Hughes will be re-evaluated again on Saturday.