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Devils Notebook: When Will Jack Hughes Play? Former Devils Return Tonight

Jack Hughes practiced in a regular contact jersey this morning. When can he play?

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New Jersey Devils

Newark — Jack Hughes stepped onto the ice Tuesday morning with the New Jersey Devils in a regular practice jersey. It seemed as though Hughes could potentially get back into the lineup. However, line rushes revealed he wasn’t part of the regular workflow. Head coach Lindy Ruff later revealed that upgrading Hughes to a regular contact jersey was just another step in his recovery.

“(Hughes) just keeps getting closer,” Ruff explained. “Today was another step closer and he got a good workout in. Tomorrow’s a day off for the team. So, we’ll evaluate where he’s at and we’ll see for the Calgary game.”

If all goes well Thursday morning, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see Hughes get the nod to suit up for his first game in over a month.

Hughes moved over to the practice rink after the Devils left the Prudential Center ice. He skated with the remaining injured Devils, Jonas Siegenthaler and Brendan Smith. There was another player on the ice as well, one that’s been missing since preseason. Nolan Foote was on the ice as well, getting some work in.”

“(Foote) is just getting back into skating,” Ruff said. “So, he’s progressing.”

There will be a returning Devils forward tonight, however. Tomas Nosek is confirmed to lace up the skates for his first game action since Nov.18th. Nosek is centering the fourth line between Chris Tierney and Alexander Hotlz.

“(Nosek is) just a veteran guy that’s familiar with how to play,” Ruff explained. “He’s got years of experience playing against good lines and good teams so he’s gonna add some veteran leadership.”

The only healthy player missing from morning skate was defenseman John Marino. It was confirmed he was just taking the morning for maintenance and he is confirmed to play against the Avalanche. Jack Hughes and Nick DeSimone filled in on the blue line for rushes, however, neither are projected to play.

Devils Pre-Game Workflow

Forwards

Ondrej Palat – Nico Hischier – Jesper Bratt

Tyler Toffoli – Erik Haula – Dawson Mercer

Timo Meier – Curtis Lazar – Nathan Bastian

Chris Tierney – Tomas Nosek – Alexander Holtz

Defensemen

Kevin Bahl – Simon Nemec

Luke Hughes – *Jack Hughes/*Nick DeSimone

Santeri Hatakka – Colin Miller

Goaltenders

Vitek Vanecek (projected starter)

Nico Daws

*Fill in for John Marino who will play Tuesday night

Familiar Foes

Miles Wood is making his return to Newark for the first time as a member of a new club. Wood (28) played in New Jersey for eight seasons before signing with the Avalanche this summer. In 45 games this season, Wood has scored eight goals and 18 points in 45 games.

“We should be pretty excited playing in a game against a long-time Devil,” Ruff stated. “We understand that everybody that comes back to their previous team wants to have a good night. We’ve got to make sure that, again, he’s got great speed and you can’t let him get a step on you.”

Wood doesn’t come alone as a former Devil. Zach Parise makes his return to Newark, this time in a new set of threads. Parise made his Avalanche debut on Monday against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. He recorded three shots in 11:24 of ice time skating on Colorado’s third line.

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