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Devils Superstar Believes Return is ‘Really Close’

Devils forward Jack Hughes has missed the last 10 games with an upper-body injury.



New Jersey Devils
(AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Could New Jersey Devils superstar forward Jack Hughes‘ return come soon?

According to the 22-year-old forward, he thinks it’s “really close.”

“I think I’m really close,” Hughes explained to the media during All-Star weekend in Toronto. “Hopefully I come out of the (All-Star) break here and feel good and finish the year off really strong.”

Although Hughes is attending the All-Star weekend, he’s not playing in the event. Originally, Hughes was supposed to take part in the skills competition on Friday and suit up for Team Hughes on Saturday. However, Hughes’ upper-body injury seemingly didn’t heal in enough time for him to be able to do so.

Hughes still attended the All-Star weekend to be with his brother, Quinn Hughes. Along with Grammy Award-winning artist, Michael Bublé, Jack and Quinn drafted their team that included Jack’s All-Star replacement and Devils forward, Jesper Bratt. Admittedly, Jack’s happy to be in Toronto but wishes he was playing.

“Obviously it’s a bummer,” Hughes explained. “It’s no one’s fault. Tough timing. It’s just the way it went but still fortunate to be here with Quinn and stuff but of course, I’d like to be playing.”

Hughes has missed 10 games since being injured. He scored 15 goals and 45 points in 32 games before injury.

Regardless, Hughes is optimistic about his health. The Devils could certainly use a boost coming out of the All-Star break to gain some ground in the playoff race. Having their franchise forward back in the lineup will certainly help.

The Devils sit seven points out of the Eastern Conference Wild Card position. However, they own three games in hand on the Detroit Red Wings who occupy the last spot.

The Devils resume their schedule on February 6th against Nathan Mackinnon and the Colorado Avalanche at home. The Avalanche are a Stanley Cup favorite which serves as a big test coming out of the All-Star break. Hughes is feeling “really close” to returning to play now. In five days from now, Hughes and the Devils are certainly hoping No.86 is in the lineup.

The Devils announced on Saturday that Hughes flew back to New Jersey ahead of the All-Star Game. The Devils say Jack, “wanted to get back so he could continue to focus on the rest of the Devils season.”

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