Wayne Gretzky & Connor McDavid Both Have High Praise For New Jersey Devils All-Star Jack Hughes

Jack Hughes has been receiving a lot of praise from all-time great Edmonton Oilers players.
Dec 21, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA;  Jack Hughes (86) skating in front of Connor McDavid (97)
Dec 21, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Jack Hughes (86) skating in front of Connor McDavid (97) / Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

After defeating the Ottawa Senators 6-2 and collecting three points (one goal and two assists), Jack Hughes now has the second-most amount of points (regular season and playoffs combined) in a calendar year by a New Jersey Devils, Colorado Rockies, and Kansas City Scouts player. His 112 points trails only Patrik Elias, who finished 2001 with 113 points. Hughes can break that record on Saturday night against the Bruins, the Devils last game of the calendar year.

Needless to say, Hughes is continuing to thrive as his career progresses. This season, he currently has 43 points in 29 game appearances.

Before the start of the season, legendary NHL center Wayne Gretzky had high praise for Hughes and his capabilities. Gretzky went as far as to compare Hughes' skill set to his own.

"He reminds me of me in the sense that, well, first of all, he’s faster than I was, and he sees the ice incredibly well. He went to a whole different level as a hockey player. Part of that too is experience...He’s much more knowledgeable now as a player."

Wayne Gretzky

While Hughes is well on his way to a long and formidable career, it's certainly a tall order for him to reach Gretzky's status one day. However, given Gretzky's status in hockey, it's still an honor for Hughes to receive that type of recognition. It didn't just end with Gretzky, but another well-known Edmonton Oilers player also praised Hughes. When Connor McDavid and the Oilers came to Newark to play the Devils a few days ago, McDavid told Pucks & Pitcforks postgame his thoughts on Hughes & his development.

"Obviously, a really good young player...He's a young kid in this league and carries himself really well on the ice, skates well, wants the puck, and makes plays. That's all you can ask for from your young guys. He's just going to keep getting better and better. "

Connor McDavid

McDavid is often regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of this generation. So far, he has won three Hart Trophies and five Art Ross Trophies. So, it was nice to hear him commend Hughes despite being somewhat surprised to learn the Gretzky & Hughes comparisons.

Gretzky's love for Hughes didn't just start before the season. He was quoted as saying during All-Star Weekend that Hughes has the best chance of catching McDavid. Regardless of what people might think of Hughes, it seems as though The Great One has a lot of high expectations for him in the future.

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