Rookie Defenseman Luke Hughes Is Calder Worthy

Photo: NJ Hockey Now

THE HUGHES NAME MEANS NOTHING, HIS PLAY SHOWS IT ALL

Moritz Seider in 2022, and Cale Makar in 2020 are the most recent Defenseman that have their names listed as winning the NHL’s Rookie Of The Year award, the Calder Memorial Trophy. This season, the prize going to a Defenseman is a bit more complicated, especially for Luke Hughes. Reason being, he is the third of three brothers to enter the NHL, so with his name comes an immediate spotlight. Not taking that spotlight away from first overall picks and other players that may have come into the league with expectations, however, when you have not one but two All-Star brothers in the league, it could be assumed there is a lot of weight on the youngest brothers shoulders. Luckily for the New Jersey Devils and Luke Hughes himself, he has been nothing but exceeding the expectations he had coming into the league as a rookie. I don’t believe many people put Luke Hughes in the Calder talk before the season. It was all Bedard, and while Bedard is doing his thing out there, I find it more impressive for a young Defenseman to be putting up the numbers and highlights that Luke Hughes has been doing up until the writing of this article. I have said this before, and I will say it again: Connor Bedard is amazing, but he could have broken his leg in October, and I believe he still would have been voted in for the Calder. So, in my personal opinion, it is almost impossible for Luke Hughes to win it, but he definitely (at this point) is deserving. Here is Luke’s Scott Neidermayer-like end-to-end goal from last week, a week in which Luke was voted 3rd star in the NHL.

IT’S NOT ALL POINTS, LUKE HAS GREAT DEFENSIVE AWARENESS

Part of what I do is collect clips of the New Jersey Devils games that mainstream sports outlets wouldn’t normally show. Luke Hughes, while scoring in his last three games and being dangerous on the ice, whether it is 5 on 5 or overtime, has also been making Defensive plays against well-known NHL players and even Captains. Here, I will provide a few clips of Luke Hughes playing his natural position, defense. Here is an example.

HUGHES BY THE NUMBERS

We are coming close to the second meeting between the three Hughes Brothers, Quinn; Captain of the Canucks will be visiting New Jersey for the first time to take on both brothers on January 6th. What we see in the youngest Hughes brother is what we see in Quinn. The only thing that is different is that Luke is taller, faster, and possibly could be the best of the three Hughes brothers in the end. Luke started his rookie season on a high note and hasn’t really come down at all. In thirty-five games this season, Luke Hughes has seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points. That doesn’t seem very impressive until you take into account that Luke Hughes is not even one of the top five players on the Devils being looked at to provide points. On top of that, he is a Defenseman, and most of his seven goals were important or game-changing. Connor Bedard in Chicago is almost literally the only option for goals and points, so of course, he will rack points up. When you bring a player like that to a team like the Devils, full of Offensive threats, a player like that won’t put as many points up but learns to be a more disciplined and full, all-around player. As I said, It’s a fat chance that anyone not named Bedard wins the Calder Trophy. In a sane world, Luke Hughes would be in the talks right now, and it would be head-to-head. Unfortunately, that’s not how things work these days. Best of luck to Luke Hughes in his future.

MORE DEVILS CONTENT

For up-to-the-minute goals replays and more clips, including the live streaming of the Devils games, check out @DevilsJointX on the X Platform. You can also find those videos on YouTube under the same handle @DevilsJointX. Clips, Live Streams, Card Opening/Trading, and more on Devils Joint. Happy New Year!

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
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  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Joseph Stassi

Joseph Stassi is a Writer/Musician from New York. He covers the New Jersey Devils on X @DevilsJointX and YouTube with the same handle.

3 thoughts on “Rookie Defenseman Luke Hughes Is Calder Worthy

  1. Great read. Thank you, I am really loving Luke out of all 3 brothers. I’m not a devils fan but my God that kid has that Scott Niedermayer look but he’s even more evasive! I saw you write most of the Devils stuff on insidetherink and I am loving your articles, the out of the box article like the one with all the fans was really clever! Happy New Year

  2. Luke absolutely has to be in the conversation around the Calder. His play is great and improving almost every game. The more he plays, the less he looks like a rookie. While I agree Bedard will probably win the award, unless his injury keeps him away for too long, (get well soon Bedard) Luke’s play has to have him in the top 3 rookies. I ultimately feel this 4th overall pick could be the best Hughes brother ten years from now.

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