Jack Hughes is at the ready for the next step in his NHL calling with the New Jersey Devils
BUFFALO -- Jack Hughes is at the ready for the next step in his NHL calling with the New Jersey Devils.
"I'm sounding guardant to the beginning of preparation camp (on Friday) now," the halfway said Monday aft his concluding game for the Devils in the 2019 Prospects Challenge at HarborCenter.
The four-day event, which conspicuous prospects from the Devils, Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins, complete for New Jersey with a 3-2 work time win against the Bruins on Monday. Hughes, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, was on the top line Monday and had a goal in a 6-4 loss to the Sabres on Friday. The 18-year-old, who did not play against the Penguins on Saturday, skated hard and created offense.
"It was a large education acquiring to know the guys and the coaches," Hughes said.
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In a wide-ranging interrogation with NHL.com, Hughes discussed his expectations for his rookie time period; his brother, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes; and the time period start against the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 4:
What are you most sounding guardant to this time period?
"Definitely musical performance my first NHL game. I kind of just wish I could fast guardant from here to our time period start and get going. So I'm really excited for that moment when I step on the ice at Prudential Center in front of our large fans."
Do you anticipate hitting a rookie wall and, if so, how do you manage that?
"I think that in an 82-game time period, you're not going to play 82 large games. For me, I've talked to some people and think I just have to manage to be confident the whole way through. I can't lose my confidence. I just have to keep musical performance because I've been doing the same things my whole life. I'll just try to stick to the game that got me this far and keep my confidence."
Are you familiar with Nikita Gusev (acquired by the Devils in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights on July 29)?
"I played against him once when I played for the United States against Russia at the 2019 IIHF World Championship. It's pretty fun to watch him play. He's a really skilled player and I think we're similar in the way that we're pass-first kind of guys, can move the puck well, and have (a) high IQ. If I end up musical performance with him (on a line), for sure it would be a lot of fun."
Do you anticipate you or your brother having the more productive rookie time period?
"I think we jab at each other a little bit, but at the same time, you want to see each other have success and do really well. So as much as I want to do better than him, you want to see him have just as much success."
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Mark Dennehy (coach of Binghamton of the American Hockey League) said he was impressed with your situational question to him during a power play late in the 6-4 loss to the Sabres on Friday. He said it proved that you are a real student of the game. Can you share what you asked Dennehy?
"I'm sorry, I don't really remember. I think I was just trying to stay dialed in for a full game. It can be tough when you're losing 6-0 or 6-1. We came back a little bit but didn't get the win."
Is it difficult dealing with all the attention and media requests on a daily basis?
"I think it's all part of [being a professional athlete]. It's a part of the job, really, and comes with the territory. I kind of live and I learn and try to just be smart on how to handle things the right way."View More View Less