A smooth-skating defender with a projectable frame, Hughes is going to put up some points and will be a premier powerplay quarterback for the NTDP.
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March 2022 – Hughes is having a historically good freshman season for Michigan in the NCAA, scoring 16 goals and adding 16 assists for 32 points in 34 games on the year. His offense is near-irreproachable; he can effortly dangle his way through opponents and has no fear in doing so on a regular basis, has tremendous vision and passing, and his defensive game has grown in large strides. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him join the Devils as soon as next season, but the team is in no rush to bring him over. Hughes could very well become the top-pair offensive blueliner he was projected to be in his draft year, and as one of the youngest freshmen in the league, Hughes has a bunch of time to grow into his full potential. Hadi Kalakeche
July 2021 – Hughes was selected in the first round, 4th overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 2021 NHL Draft. Nick Richard
March 2021 – Hughes suffered an injury that will hold him out the rest of the season and he has decided to begin preparations for the NHL Draft and his freshman season at the University of Michigan next season. One of the top defenders in the 2021 draft class, Hughes may see his draft stock fall because of concern around the injury. It’s been reported by J.D. Burke of Elite Prospects that there are several torn ligaments in his foot which is a bit of a difficult injury because of the nature of ligament injuries in general. Multiple tears could be a bit longer term and very well could be a bit nagging even into next season. His long-term future should be fine but we’ve seen players fall because of pre-draft foot injuries as recently as 2019 with Peyton Krebs. A team could wind up getting a top-five player with a pick around ten if teams get a bit skidish. Value is there to be had possibly. Tony Ferrari
February 2021 – Hughes has hit another gear since the calendar flipped to 2021. He is one of the youngest members of the 2021 draft class and the progression he has made this season has been outstanding. Of all of the top players in the class, he has arguably taken the biggest step forward. His offensive timing has improved and his defensive game continues to show progress. He is utilizing his mobility much more at both ends of the ice but not just for rushes down the wall or around the zone. Hughes is skating with a purpose when the puck is on his stick. Whether he’s walking the blueline with his impressive lateral mobility or cutting into the home plate area with his agility and quickness, Hughes understands how to be put pressure on his opponents. The biggest reason that he’s been able to take this step is that he has been exhibiting an advanced awareness of the play. He understands what is happening all over the ice and playing the angle and using his skill. Hughes will continue to be one to watch as he pushes towards the top of many draft rankings. Tony Ferrari
November 2020 – Yes, another one. Luke Hughes is the younger brother of Jack (NJD) and Quinn (VAN). Like his brothers, Luke is an excellent skater who has the ability to get up and down the rink with ease. Unlike his brothers, he is 6’2″ and 176lbs with room to fill out and get stronger. This projectable size along with his smooth skating help gives Hughes an enticing toolkit to work with. Hughes is one of the younger players in the draft, just six days away from being eligible for the 2022 draft class. The National Team Development Program blueliner has all the runway in the world to continue along the path of development that he’s been on over the last few years, earning him the status of a top prospect in his draft year despite his relative youth.
Hughes is an offensive blueliner who plays an aggressive and attacking style of defense. He is constantly looking to turn play up ice and excels when he is able to make a defensive play in transition to break up or prevent a zone entry and then he or his partner, primarily Sean Behrens, can collect the puck and start the attack. The silky-smooth skater is able to transport the puck up ice on his stick, generating speed through the neutral zone and attacking the offensive zone with speed. He has good puck skills and can stickhandle on the entry to create a bit of space but he does try to do a bit too much from time-to-time, skating into traffic and losing the puck on occasion. He is a very good passer who can read the defensive unit and find seams. He is more than willing to roam the offensive zone a bit with and without the puck, attempting to act as a fourth forward at times to help stimulate offense. He knows he can rely on his skating to get him back in time but that can be a dangerous game at times as he has been burned from time-to-time, particularly last season with some signs of improvement in his overall defensive awareness this season. Hughes will be an exciting player to watch this season as he will likely find his way onto the scoresheet a fair amount but the key to his draft stock will likely lie in the defensive zone as teams will want to know how committed this offenisve-minded defenseman will be in his own end when his team is up one goal, protecting the lead in the final few minutes. The offense is evident, the potential is there for him to be a very well rounded defenseman with the intriguing set of tools that the youngest Hughes has in his chest. Tony Ferrari
|2012-2013||Toronto Bulldogs||Brick Invitational||6||2||0||2||2|||||Playoffs||2||0||0||0||2|
|2016-2017||Toronto Marlboros U14 AAA||GTHL U14||-||-||-||-||-||||
|2017-2018||Little Caesars 14U AAA||14U AAA||-||-||-||-||-||||
|2018-2019||Little Caesars 15U AAA||15U AAA||71||22||61||83||-||||
|Little Caesars 15U AAA||OHL Cup||6||3||1||4||2||||