Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt, and Dougie Hamilton are amazing All-Star first-line caliber players for the New Jersey Devils and they are so lucky to have guys like that. However, Jack Hughes just takes things to another level because of his ability to make everything happen quickly.
He has even found a way to make big plays in games where he doesn’t have it going at his best. On Tuesday night, however, we saw him do some things that we can only see about ten people in the entire league do.
The Devils were trailing 2-1 very late in the third period. Of course, Jack Hughes made a great play in the neutral zone with the goalie pulled to send Jesper Bratt in onside. Bratt made a great play to find Hamilton who got the puck on the net and it went in. A magnificent play sent them to OT.
After some back and forth in the overtime period, the Devils drew a penalty on Vegas for the 4-3 power play. This was the second game in a row where New Jersey earned a power play in overtime. It was also the second game in a row where Hamilton won it on a power play goal in overtime.
Jack Hughes made some amazing plays in New Jersey’s big overtime win.
Jack Hughes assisted on the one against the Penguins on Sunday as well but his assist here against Vegas was a little bit different. While his face was being smashed into the boards by the Vegas defender, he forced a pass from his knees to Hamilton who buried the shot.
To be honest, it was the best play that Jack Hughes has made in a New Jersey Devils uniform. It is one thing to score goals using your creativity and skill but it is another to make everyone around you better. Jack Hughes can do both better than any player to ever put that uniform on.
With two most assists on the night, he now has 60 points which have him in the top ten of NHL scoring. He is on pace for 52 goals and 52 assists for 104 points. With numbers like that, he would break the New Jersey Devils’ single-season record for goals and points.
He has to be entering the Hart Trophy conversation now. Again, Hischier and Bratt are both elite point-per-game players and Hughes still leads the team in scoring by 12 points.
Connor McDavid is almost a lock to win the Hart but guys like Hughes along with Tage Thompson, Leon Draisaitl, David Pastrnak, and Jason Robertson have to be in the mix in terms of potential nominees. Seeing a New Jersey Devils player in that conversation again sure is nice.
Led by Hughes, New Jersey is now 31-12-4 for 66 standings points. They have already passed their wins and points total from a year ago which is remarkable considering we are still in January.
They are now hitting the road for two more before the NHL All-Star break. It starts on Thursday when the Devils take on the Nashville Predators. It should be a lot of fun to see what Hughes and his friends can do against them.