The New Jersey Devils are finally reaping the rewards of their high-end prospect pool, looking to be in a solid playoff position for the first time in years.
They could soon get another important young piece into the lineup, too. 2021 first-round pick Luke Hughes will “very likely” be in the Devils lineup at the end of the 2022-23 season after his college campaign at the University of Michigan ends, said Michigan coach Brandon Naurato speaking with NJ.com’s Ryan Novozinsky. Naurato calls Hughes a “Cale Makar-like” talent, and if Hughes is anything reminiscent of Makar’s late-season debut with Colorado in 2019, the Devils have a much better chance at breaking through an air-tight Eastern Conference.
- The Carolina Hurricanes made waves today by activating All-Star forward Max Pacioretty off season-opening injured reserve. However, it’s unclear whether Pacioretty will make his Carolina debut tomorrow night. Hurricanes team reporter Walt Ruff notes that the team will not have a morning skate tomorrow, and we likely won’t know whether Pacioretty is playing until head coach Rod Brind’Amour’s pregame media availability in the afternoon.
- An intriguing unsigned prospect could be getting his first look in the AHL. 21-year-old defenseman Rhett Rhinehart was recalled to the Calgary Wranglers today, according to the ECHL’s transactions log. Rhinehart is valuable in that he’s a tall, right-shot defenseman with some offensive awareness. He served as an alternate captain for the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades last season, where he had 27 points in 53 games.