Jack Hughes Being Selected To All-Star Game Has More Meaning

Jack Hughes selected first overall by the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Jack Hughes selected first overall by the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

After becoming one of the hottest players since the Christmas break, Jack Hughes was named the recipient to represent the New Jersey Devils organization in Las Vegas for the 2022 All-Star Game. It’s been an uphill battle for Hughes to garner up the respect that he deserves, but him being named an All-Star actually has a deeper meaning.

There has been a decent amount of debate as to whether or not the more recent first-overall selections will amount to anything in this league. Obviously, Owen Power is exempt from that discussion since he hasn’t appeared in an NHL game yet. But, as for the last few selected players, it definitely does bring up an interesting talking point.

Not only that, but this is once again a confidence booster for Hughes as he continues to contribute at a high production rate. To give a better reference, the last time that a first-overall pick in the NHL Draft won the Calder Memorial Trophy was Auston Matthews back in 2016.

Ever since then, starting with Nico Hischier in 2017, the first-overall picks the following years haven’t exactly taken the league by storm. Even though Hischier is the youngest captain in the entire NHL, most Devils fans will agree that they expect a little bit more from their leader. However, injuries have slowed him down thus far. Nonetheless, he still continues to try and make a name for himself.

Hughes has had his fair share of struggles as well. Before Alexis Lafreniere tied him a season ago, Hughes had the worst statistical rookie season for a forward since Joe Thornton in 1998. But, each year, Hughes started to improve and his impact on the Devils became more apparent. Even though it has taken a couple of years for Hughes to finally come into fruition, his All-Star selection certainly speaks volumes of him proving that the more recent first-overall picks are not busts. They maybe just need more time to develop. Rasmus Dahlin, Lafreniere, & Hischier haven’t been able to achieve much in their young careers so far. (although Nico Hischier is a former All-Star himself) However, looking at Hughes’ All-Star selection might be able to help boost their confidence and motivation as well.