The New Jersey Devils have a rough couple of years behind them. But now, they have a roster completely stacked with talent, and after a season where they were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs, they’re now considered a Stanley Cup contender.
The Devils have a young squad, and four of their five top scorers last season were all under the age of 25. Just imagine how great they’ll be as everyone keeps progressing and getting to know each other better.
The most exciting player in the Devils’ squad is, of course, Jack Hughes. He was the first-overall pick in 2019 but had a disappointing first year in the NHL. After two seasons in the league, he still hadn’t recorded more than 31 points in a season, and fans were worried, and some even called him a bust.
But during the 2021-22 season, he scored 56 points in 49 games, and last season, his production exploded. With 99 points in 78 games, Hughes was widely acknowledged as one of the best players in the league, and the expectations on him for the upcoming campaign are huge.
Expectations really didn’t get lower after his magnificent display on Monday in the pre-season game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Sure, it was an exhibition game, and several star players and NHL veterans were absent in both teams, but Jack Hughes still looked absolutely on fire, and he pulled off one of the greatest assists this year.
The Canadiens were trailing 2-1 in the second period, as Jack Hughes had the puck in his own zone. He easily skated away from Canadiens’ rookie Logan Mailloux and then the length of the ice. He then danced around the Canadiens defense before setting up Dawson Mercer, who scored the 3-1 goal in an empty cage.
It was an amazing display from Jack Hughes, really highlighting what he could do on a regular basis this upcoming year. And for Logan Mailloux, the rookie who got beaten by Hughes in his offensive zone, it was special.
“It was kind of a welcome to the NHL moment for sure,” said Mailloux per Sportsnet.
Jack Hughes also had a goal and another assist in the 4-2 win over the Canadiens.
Watch the amazing assist here: