Jack Hughes – U.S.A.
This one is the surprise on the list. Jack Hughes was knocked out of the season after a knee-to-knee hit while taking on the New York Islanders. It was the second long-term injury Hughes dealt with this season. However, it wasn’t really a long-term injury. Hughes suffered a mild MCL sprain, and he probably would be back on the ice by now if this season meant absolutely anything. You know what means something to some people? The world championships.
The Devils likely wouldn’t approve of Hughes playing in the worlds, but this might be beyond their control. Hughes wants to play hockey. He finally looks and feels like a superstar. Why wouldn’t he want to keep going? He has a chance to put the good ole red, white, and blue back on. Hughes had a chance to represent U.S.A.
Hughes’ knee injury isn’t a long-term issue, and he should be able to play in Finland without any limitations. It would be good to get Hughes back on the ice for a little hockey before the offseason. It might be what fans need to see to get behind him being as true superstar next season.
This is, of course, much more than what the fans want. Hughes is trying to represent his country again after losing the opportunity at the Olympics. He also lost the opportunity to finish out the Devils season in style. This would give him a chance to finish the season on his terms. That has to be appealing to him.