With a new season comes new young players New Jersey Devils fans can look forward to. Jack Hughes might be a fan of one incoming 20-year-old. Luke Hughes is basically a lock to make the NHL this season. He has a similar playing style as his eldest brother Quinn Hughes. Quinn Hughes during his age 20 season had 8 goals and 53 points in 68 games played.
As Luke Hughes hopes to score similarly to Quinn at a .78 points per game pace, he would hit 64 points over 82 games. If you took the average pace of assists per game from Quinn Hughes’s 20-year-old season, that would give Luke Hughes 54 assists. You’re potentially looking at a Calder Trophy-like season from Luke Hughes. There won’t be too much pressure on him since he has so many great teammates that are more defensive-minded on his opposite hand.
Luke Hughes may end up scoring more than his brother thanks to the big frame, strength, speed, finesse, and elite hockey IQ. There will be a plethora of players that Luke Hughes will utilize to his advantage because he can move from the defensive zone and bolt north and weave east to west with ease.
Due to the Devils “give and go, run and gun” style of hockey, Luke Hughes can essentially play like a fourth forward. Having linemates in front at the forward positions like a Timo Meier–Nico Hischier–Tyler Toffoli or Jesper Bratt-Jack Hughes-Dawson Mercer moving up the flanks will make it very difficult for opposing defenders to thwart that offensive breakout.
The ability to cleanly pass and move behind the opponent’s net and exhaust their opponent’s energy will be a trait that will easily transition from the University of Michigan. Overtime is where L. Hughes will really thrive. Imagine opposing teams trying to defend a Meier-J.Hughes-L.Hughes combo? Then a line of Bratt-Hischier-Hamilton is going to tilt the ice more in favor of the Devils getting those critical two points.
Want your voice heard? Join the Pucks And Pitchforks team!
A lot of the teams like the Penguins and Capitals aren’t all that fast and will have a hard time defending a young buck in Luke Hughes. It is possible Luke Hughes puts up big production offensively. Defensively, he can strip the puck like Jack does but is learning to improve his takeaway-to-giveaway ratio. He’s still a very youthful player, has a lot of upside, and can become a two-way Devils defenseman fans will love and cherish.