Newark — Yesterday was a good day for Jack Hughes and the New Jersey Devils, however, today is a great day.
Hughes returns to the lineup on Saturday for the Devils’ first tilt of the season against the New York Rangers.
Hughes suffered a shoulder injury against the St. Louis Blues that labeled him week-to-week. That was 15 days ago. Fortunately for New Jersey, Hughes’ injury was a lot less severe than initially anticipated. Therefore, the Devils franchise forward missed just five contests.
Before Hughes went out with an injury, he led the NHL in points with 20 (five goals and 15 assists). After missing five games, he’s slid down that list to 18th overall in the NHL. However, he only trails his brother, Quinn, and two other Vancouver Canucks, J.T. Miller and Elias Petterson, for the NHL lead.
In other words, the race for the Hart Trophy lives on.
Hughes returned to practice on Friday afternoon and was a full participant in all drills. He centered the top line, flanked by Erik Haula and Curtis Lazar, which looks like your potential first line on Saturday night.
It should come as no surprise to see Hughes return against the Rangers. It’s likely a night that Hughes and the team circled on their calendars as a possible return date following their emotional clash in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
To make tonight’s matchup even spicier, Igor Shesterkin returns to the Rangers net for the first time since November 2nd against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Let the Hudson River Rivalry commence!