After missing the last five games due to a shoulder injury sustained in the team’s loss to the St.Louis Blues on November 3rd, all indications are that Jack Hughes will make his return for the New Jersey Devils tomorrow night against the New York Rangers.
Before practice got underway this morning, the Devils announced that Hughes was making his return to practice, and a follow-up note from team reporter, Amanda Stein, showed that Hughes was centering the team’s top line as a full participant. Unfortunately, as Stein mentions, New Jersey will still be without fellow forwards Timo Meier and Nico Hischier for tomorrow’s game.
It’s difficult to ascertain a more significant return to a team, than Hughes for the Devils. Since his absence at the beginning of the month, the team has produced a 2-3-0 record, losing two pivotal matchups against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, causing them to fall to fourth place in a hotly contested Metropolitan Division.
Playing in 10 of a possible 15 games so far this season, Hughes has put up five goals and 15 assists, which puts him second on the team in scoring behind Jesper Bratt. Even more impressively, although missing a good chunk of games, Hughes still sits 15th in the league overall in scoring.
Because of the shoulder injury, Hughes will only be able to max out at 77 games played on the year if he stays healthy for the remainder of the season. However, although it will be difficult if Hughes is able to sustain his two-points-a-game average, he would still be on pace to crack Connor McDavid’s generational season last year.
Continuing to improve each season of his young career, Hughes finished one point shy of the 100-point plateau last year, finishing with 43 goals and 56 assists in 78 games. However, even after missing five games, Hughes should be able to crack the mark for the first time this season.