For prospects, culture is key
June. He joins a team that features two other No. 1 draft picks in Taylor Hall, who was selected first by the Oilers in the 2010 draft, and Nico Hischier, selected No. 1 by the Devils in 2017.
Nothing Hughes has done thus far should give Shero pause as the Devils prepare to open their season hosting the Jets on Friday.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Hughes displayed how much of a competitor he’s in expressing how unhappy he was losing in his first NHL competitive setting — a 6-4 loss to the Sabres at a prospects tournament last month.
“We kind of got lucky to put four on the board, and only gave up six. Disappointing game,” Hughes said.
The youngster responded once the preseason began by scoring twice, including the decisive goal, on a give-and-go with Nikita Gusev in a 4-3 overtime win in his preseason debut against Boston.
Devils defenseman P.K. Subban was so impressed, he referred to Hughes’ performance as “nasty.”
And the player who spent the last two years setting USA Hockey’s National Development Program’s scoring record followed up by scoring a breakaway goal 34 seconds into a 4-2 win over the Rangers a few days later. Hughes finished the preseason with three goals and an assist in four games.
The Devils made undersized rookie center Jack Hughes the eighth American-born player taken first in the draft.