Jack Hughes disappoints, not ready for NHL

Sydney Bigelow, Copy & Design Chief

Jack Hughes, a standout high school player and first overall pick, has struggled to adjust at the professional level. At the start of the 2019 season, despite all of the talk, Hughes‘s performance shows he is not ready for the National Hockey League. 

The fifty-seventh NHL draft took place on June 21 and 22. The New Jersey Devils, led by head coach John Hynes and captain Andy Greene, ended the 2018 – 2019 season with a record of 31 wins, 41 losses, and 10 overtime losses. Due to their losing record, the team was given the first overall pick in the 2019 draft.

To no one’s surprise, the 18 year-old Florida native was drafted first overall by the Devils. Previous to the draft, Hughes played for the U.S. National Development team. Considered a prodigy throughout his high school career, Hughes was widely praised by various NHL teams and was considered a top prospect in the 2019 draft.  

With all the praise also came doubt. Coaches, sports reporters, and other prominent figures in the NHL have stated their opinion that Hughes’s natural talent is not ready for the NHL yet, and suggested he play in the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) first. These comments have started well before the draft, and continue to as the NHL season begins. 

Player statistics show that Hughes has not lived up to the talk of his skills, and that doubts were accurate. In the NHL, he currently holds zero goals and very few faceoff wins, a crucial aspect to the sport. 

Hughes has always had a love for the game, and has spent many hours practicing to be on top. Hopefully with continuing the hard efforts from the start of the season and determined teaching from coaches and teammates, Hughes can fulfill his ambitions.