New Jersey Devils: 5 Most Important Quotes Of Training Camp So Far

Jack Hughes and Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Jack Hughes and Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86): (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports) /

"“I’m a lot bigger. I put on probably 14 pounds of pure muscle since March. That’s a big difference, ending the year at 164 and starting now around 180-ish. That’s big.” — Jack Hughes"

Let’s start with the quote that did a lot for Devils fans’ excitement but not a lot for American education standards. Jack Hughes was one of the biggest disappointments in the NHL last season. He was one of the reasons why the Devils were a darkhorse candidate coming into the season. Adding a legitimate second-line center solved a lot of problems for this roster. It was clear, however, that he wasn’t in the right place to push this team to the next level.

That could change this season. It’s clear Hughes didn’t have trouble making plays, but he had a lot of trouble finishing them. He could be knocked off the puck a little easier than the team hoped. There was a clear strength disparity.

If it’s true that he added 14-16 pounds of muscle (and the eye test says yes), then he could be a completely different player this season. This is welcomed news and exactly what Hughes needed to do in the offseason. He didn’t need to work on his shot, his passing, or his offensive abilities. Hughes needed to get bigger and strategize a way to get more space.

Hughes’ says he is ready to breakout. He spent the offseason going up against his brothers. One of his brothers is just one of the best young defensemen in the world, and the other is a defenseman who’s expected to go in the top 15 of the NHL Draft this season. His offseason should lead to an incredible season.