Ranking the Rankings: Did ESPN Get New Jersey Devils Top 100 Rankings Right?

Apr 24, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New Jersey Devils goaltender Akira Schmid (40) celebrates with center Jack Hughes (86) and center Nico Hischier (13) after defeating the New York Rangers in game four of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 24, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New Jersey Devils goaltender Akira Schmid (40) celebrates with center Jack Hughes (86) and center Nico Hischier (13) after defeating the New York Rangers in game four of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Jersey Devils, Jack Hughes
New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86): Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Jack Hughes
ESPN Ranking: 4
Too High, Too Low, Just Right?: Just Right

We understand that Jack Hughes being the fourth-ranked player on this list might feel too high to some, but the early season results are proving otherwise. He has 10 points, which is third in the NHL. The only two players ahead of him (Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Larkin) have both played two more games than Hughes.

Jack Hughes has been a phenom this season. He’s scored goals when his team needed it most, including two crucial goals against the wagon that is the Detroit Red Wings. He’s coming off an overtime goal to beat the New York Islanders. When the Devils need Hughes, he shows up big.

Some are complaining because of who Hughes has been ranked ahead of this season. He’s ahead of Leon Draisaitl, Auston Matthews, Nikita Kucherov, and David Pastrnak. However, when you get into this stratosphere of players, there will be nuance in the rankings. Right now, only one thing is clear about hockey rankings: Connor McDavid is at the top. Beyond that, it’s anybody’s ball game.

Hughes is a superstar, and he’s already proved it early in the season. The Devils know for a fact they can rely on him in the biggest moments. We expect that to come up again at the end of the season.