Devils' Jack Hughes Scores Twice In Preseason Debut

WATCH: First Overall Pick Opens Devils' Scoring, Nets GWG

Alec Gearty
September 16, 2019 - 9:52 pm
New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) celebrates a goal during the second period of their game against the Boston Bruins

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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Jack Hughes offered a glimpse of what the future holds for the New Jersey Devils Monday night.

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Hughes, New Jersey's first overall pick in June's draft, scored two goals in the team's preseason opener against the Boston Bruins. The 18-year-old converted on the Sami Vatenen-fed pass during the second-period power play, beating Boston's Dan Vludar for his first goal of the preseason.

"I think the first [period> was more of a feeling out process for me," Hughes told reporters following the game. "Just trying to get my feet wet and figure out the pace of the game. I think on that first goal, that's where I got more comfortable. I wanted the puck on my stick more so that's kind of the turning point."

He was slotted alongside Miles Wood and Nikita Gusev, who the Devils acquired from Vegas in July. Hughes is expected to be one of the Devil's cornerstones this season and beyond. He'll likely make the team's opening night roster, where he'll compete for the league's Calder Memorial Trophy with other notable rookies including Kaapo Kakko, the Rangers' second overall selection that was chosen immediately after Hughes.

For his final trick of the night, Hughes and Gusev connected on a remarkable sequence to seal the Devils' overtime win, 4-3. He was named the game's No. 1 star.

Hughes was the draft's top prize after the "Lose For Hughes" campaign trended among lottery-eligible teams last season. The Devils, after finishing the year with 72 points, cashed in at the draft lottery in order to grab Hughes. Prior to Hughes, the Devils used the first overall pick one time in the team's existence, when they selected Nico Hischier in 2017.

Hughes' prolific passing and offensive ability was on display long before his first tally at the NHL level. Throughout his time with the United States' U18 team in 2018, Hughes lead the team with 112 points (34 goals, 78 assists) in 50 games. 

The Devils have a handful of games left on their preseason slate before they're set to open the regular season on Oct. 4, opposing the Winnipeg Jets. Nearly two weeks removed from when Hughes will likely make his Devils' regular season debut, the rookie welcomes the Vancouver Canucks, and his brother Quinn, to the Prudential Center on Oct. 19.