New Jersey Devils rookie defenseman, Luke Hughes, is having an impressive rookie season.
If it weren’t for Chicago Blackhawks rookie, Connor Bedard, sucking up all the oxygen in the Calder Trophy race, the Devils defenseman would certainly be under the spotlight far more often.
However, after a stellar week of puck for the Devils, he’s receiving the warranted attention. As a result, Hughes was named the NHL’s third star of the week on Monday afternoon.
According to the NHL press release, “Hughes scored in all three of his games, totaling 3-2—5 to help the Devils (19-14-2, 40 points) complete a 2-1-0 week. He tallied a highlight-reel, game-tying goal with 1:25 remaining in regulation as New Jersey rallied for a 4-3 overtime victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets Dec. 27. Hughes then posted 1-2—3, his first career three-point performance, in a 6-2 win over the Ottawa Senators Dec. 29.”
“He scored again in a 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins Dec. 30 to become the second rookie defenseman in franchise history with a three-game goal streak, joining Barry Beck (2x, 6 GP and 3 GP, in 1977-78). The 20-year-old Hughes – who joins his brothers Quinn and Jack as a “Star of the Week” recipient this season – leads rookie defensemen and places fourth among all rookies with 7-14—21 in 35 total appearances in 2023-24.”
“I think when you see that, you start taking of some of the great skaters in the game,” Ruff explained. “You think of great skating defenseman such as Brian Leetch, you think of Paul Coffey. You automatically start thinking of other guys that can get up the ice. He did that a couple of times tonight where he really showed a burst. Incredible goal.”
The Devils are certainly hoping Hughes can continue building on his early season success in 2024. New Jersey is looking to turn the page on what’s been an inconsistent season. The Devils play next on Wednesday in Washington.