New Jersey Devils Should Move Jack Hughes Back To Center

Jack Hughes #86 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Jack Hughes #86 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils number-one overall pick has been played on the wing lately. It doesn’t seem to be working for Jack Hughes.

The New Jersey Devils are set to host the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues on Friday night. The Blues are well equipped to make a run at the Cup again this year, so this is definitely a tough test for the Devils. One thing that they should be doing to better themselves is playing Jack Hughes at the center of the ice. He isn’t himself when he is on the wing.

His natural position has always been center, so it makes no sense to take him off that position now. It came out yesterday that they are going to keep him on the wing, but put him on a different line. Miles Wood practiced on the top line with Nico Hischier and Kyle Palmieri, while Hughes was on the second line with Travis Zajac and Jesper Boqvist.

The only positive out of it is that it should be fun to watch Boqvist and Hughes play on the same line. Neither of them is perfect in their own zone, so having Zajac there shouldn’t be all bad but Hughes does look better as a center. Regardless of what position he plays, it will be interesting to see how he finishes this season from an offensive point of view.

Hughes belongs in the NHL. He might not have lit it up offensively the way most people expected he would, but he still makes plays that are extremely difficult to make in the NHL. Consider that, and then remember that he is the youngest player in the NHL. He gained a lot of valuable experience this season and he should know exactly what to expect next season. He will likely spend the summer training hard to get bigger and stronger too.

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The Blues are a good team for Hughes to play against. They have a lot of players on their team that play high-level hockey every night. Those are the kinds of games that are important for kids like Hughes to learn from. Hopefully, the Devils figure out a way to not get beat too badly by the Blues in this one.