The End of the Season for Jack Hughes

After a loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night, the New Jersey Devils are now officially eliminated from the playoffs.
Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils
Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

After a loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night, the New Jersey Devils are now officially eliminated from the playoffs. Despite having a few more games remaining, the season is over for the team, and is now officially over for star forward, Jack Hughes. 

Hughes will undergo shoulder surgery on Wednesday, April 10 in Vail Colorado, performed  by Dr. Peter Millett

Before their Tuesday night game, the Devils were finally able to provide a long-awaited medical update on Hughes. 

In an official statement, the Devils have said, “In recent conversations with Jack, his family and representatives, the Devils’ athlete care staff, and Devils’ Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jonathan L. Glashow, it was determined that Jack should be held out of game action for the rest of this season and proceed with shoulder surgery.” 

Before this statement, Hughes last played in a game against the Nashville Predators on April 7th. Losing 3-2, Hughes was still able to score a goal and play over 22 minutes on the ice. 

Back in November, Hughes took a fall into the boards and left the game in the first period, missing five games.

Move forward to January when the Devils faced the Chicago Blackhawks. In the third period of the game, Hughes took an awkward fall and skated off the ice, not returning. In the month of his absence, Hughes missed the All-Star Game he was supposed to skate in, as well as 11 games from January 6th to February 6th. 

Despite missing 16 games total due to injury, Hughes still is second on the team in overall points, with 72 total (27 goals in 62 games).  

Although he was able to put up points pretty consistently after his January injury, many people believed Hughes was fighting through an injury. 

Recently, Hughes has been sitting out of the optional off-day skates and morning skates, taking personal days off. Many speculated that those off-days were days Hughes was resting, due to a nagging injury. 

At 22 years old, Hughes likely played for months with a mangled shoulder, pushing through relentlessly. This alone says a lot about his character, and about who he is as a player. 

Hughes himself and fans watching knew he was not 100%, dealing with his injury while playing in games. Broadcasting before the April 9th game, former Devil, Ken Daneyko said Hughes “wanted to show that fight.” 

This season was filled with injuries for the Devils roster. Losing players before the start of the season to losing players long-term mid season and on, healthy players were few. Although being emilinated from the Stanley Cup playoffs is not ideal, it may be what the team has needed -- This break will hopefully be a chance for every player to rest and come back next season healthy and in full force.

While this season may be over for Hughes and his team, he is expected to return in time for next season’s training camp, making a full recovery by that time.

This may be exactly what Hughes needed. After racking up a career high 99 points last season, this season could not live up to that. With surgery and time off to rest, Hughes will hopefully be back and better next year – healthier and ready to hit and surpass that triple digit point mark.