Meet Dr. Peter Millett, Who Will Perform Jack Hughes' Shoulder Surgery

The New Jersey Devils are sending Jack Hughes to Colorado to get shoulder surgery. Who is the doctor who's drawn the Devils star to the Rockies?
Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils
Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

There are a few doctors who become very popular because of their status in sports. Dr. James Andrews became known as the go-to surgeon of the All Stars. Today, we are seeing more and more specialists come to light, and it seems the New Jersey Devils are sending their All-Star Jack Hughes to one of the premier hockey surgeons in the U.S.

It was announced on Tuesday that Jack Hughes was going to miss the rest of the season with shoulder surgery. It’s clear that Hughes hasn’t been right for most of the season, starting off the year like an MVP and looking like just a regular hockey star over the last four months (not including injury time). 

Hughes has had issues with his shoulder for most of his career. He’s injured his shoulder in November this season, and then he did it again in January when he fell awkwardly despite not getting hit. He also suffered an upper-body injury in February of last year, and he suffered a shoulder injury in October 2021. This is something that’s impacted him for most of his career. 

Yet, he’s always found a way to avoid surgery. Now, that luck has run out. But this could be good news. Maybe his repeated injuries are due to something he needs fixed, and the issue will finally be solved. The man on that mission is Dr. Peter Millett of Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. 

Millett has become a hockey player’s best friend when they suffer shoulder issues. Just this year, he’s performed surgery on the shoulders of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Kent Johnson and Ottawa Senators Josh Norris. He’s also become the man every hockey player goes to for a final opinion on shoulder issues, and there is one very specific person who Millett helped that probably led to Hughes’ decision to get this done. 

Cole Caufield also tried to play with a bum shoulder last season, but it was after talking to his agent and Dr. Millett that he decided to get shoulder surgery in January. He was a little inconsistent this season, but it’s clear he’s feeling better. 

Caufield is friends with Hughes after their time in the USNTDP before they were both first-round picks. Now, they are the future of this league, and that future is in the hands of Dr. Millett. 

This is considered the best guy for hockey players. He’s a consultant for the NHL Player’s Association, and he’s trusted as the guy for shoulder surgeries. He never rests on his laurels and often wins awards for innovation in orthopedics. There is a reason the Devils went in this direction, and there’s an even bigger reason why Hughes agreed to it. There has to be some pride hit here as Hughes finishes another season on IR.

Now, the hope is Millett, who has been with his current firm since 2000, can save the future of the Devils franchise. That’s how important this surgery is for the Devils. 

Dr. Millett is used to that type of pressure. He was asked to perform surgery on the San Francisco 49ers’ running back Christian McCaffrey earlier in his career, and we all know how well that’s gone. Driver Lewis Hamilton went to Dr. Millett, as did Vladimir Tarasenko when he was trying to prove himself in the second half of his career. He’s performed on everyone from basketball players to X-Games riders to Olympic athletes. 

One time, he even performed surgery for an audience, gathering 2,000 peers in London, England, and performing a then-new rotator cuff repair technique that innovated how shoulders are repaired. If he can handle that pressure, we should trust him with the pressure of setting Hughes right.