Devils Reveal Good News/Bad News on Jack Hughes Timeline For Return

With their top defenseman already on the shelf for a significant period, the last thing the New Jersey Devils needed was for their top forward to also be lost for any kind of extended time. With that, head coach Lindy Ruff delivered the bad news and good news — really, as good an update as could be hoped for on former No. 1 overall pick Jack Hughes.

"This is going to be weeks, not months," New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff said Tuesday. "So we'll evaluate him just week to week. I think we all have to look at that as good news (that it isn't month to month), so we'll just keep evaluating week to week and see how it progresses."

The Devils' All-Star representative may have avoided a worst-case scenario. He left New Jersey's game with the Chicago Blackhawks on January 5th with an upper-body injury. 

The 22-year-old star forward also missed five games in November with an upper-body ailment.

"Obviously, Jack's frustrated with the fact of getting hurt," Ruff said. "We just got to get back as quick as we can. He's been hurt before. We'll get him through it and get him back and going."

This certainly isn't the first time Hughes has faced injury concerns in his young career. He also missed a chunk of time in the 2021-22 season with a dislocated shoulder and a knee injury and was able to play just 49 games, while a knee injury ended his rookie season early.

The Devils' injury bug has been brutal this season, as they're also missing defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Jonas Siegenthaler, along with forwards Timo MeierOndrej Palat, and Tomas Nosek. Meier is the closest of that group to returning. 

Hughes currently leads the Devils in scoring, with 15 goals and 30 assists for 45 points in 32 games, while playing just over 20 minutes a night. He netted 43 goals and 99 points in 78 games last season.

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