The New Jersey Devils made a huge selection in the 2021 NHL Draft. They took Luke Hughes from the United States National Development Program. Yes, they took his older brother Jack Hughes with the first overall pick of the 2019 NHL Draft and he is now the future of their franchise.
With these two in the mix along with guys like Nico Hischier, Ty Smith, and Mackenzie Blackwood amongst others, the future is bright. The Devils might have another year or two before they really take that next step but with these guys there, you should start to see serious improvement as a team coming up. Luke is a big part of that plan.
Unlike his older brother Jack and more like his brother Quinn, he is going to play a year in college before making his jump to the pros. There is even a chance that he plays for two years in the NCAA. He is committed to the University of Michigan where he will continue in his development.
Michigan is one of the best NCAA programs to be a part of right now. Not only is Luke Hughes going to be there, but many of his fellow draftees are going to be there as well. Owen Power, Kent Johnson, and Matt Beniers were all drafted in the top five as well and they will all be at Michigan this season. Unlike Hughes, this won’t be their first season there as they are all returning for a second year.
The New Jersey Devils are lucky to see Luke Hughes off to the University of Michigan.
Playing with studs like this is going to be so good for him. He is going to be one of the younger players on the squad but that won’t stop him from being one of the best. With someone like Power sharing the same blue line as him, things might be nice for him. It will also help when he is able to make big passes to forwards like Johnson and Beniers.
It is a little bit surprising that all three of these guys are returning to college. Normally, the draft’s top five is loaded with players headed to the NHL right away. In most cases, the first overall pick plays in the NHL right away but Power is set on playing at Michigan one more time.
COVID-19’s effect on the 2020-21 season might have a lot to do with it as it made a lesser draft feel even harder to evaluate players. Now, it is in the best interest of all of them and their teams to see them go play in college for one more year. Hopefully, we see Luke go there and dominate his way and develop a lot more.