Kukla's Korner

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Checking In On The Top 2 Draft Picks From Last Year

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

It wasn’t so much hype as a sense of anticipation. A year ago, for the first time ever, the first two overall selections in the NHL draft were going to teams based approximately six miles apart, and weren’t we all going to be in for a treat watching the rivalry develop between the Devils’ No. 1, Jack Hughes, and the Rangers’ No. 2, Kaapo Kakko?

Well, the future obviously all lies ahead of the two 19-year-olds, which is a pretty good thing considering their one season of NHL past added up to the biggest combined one-two statistical flop in more than two decades....

And let me tell you, Hughes was dancing all night long at the Garden on Thursday, racking up a pair of goals and an assist in an eye-opening performance to co-star with 47-save goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood in the Devils’ 4-3 victory.

The young man added musculature to his frame with diligent offseason work that has allowed him to battle in those 50-50 areas, but Hughes just never stopped moving his feet. He was dynamic and quicksilver, on his toes throughout while thriving under head coach Lindy Ruff, who worked as an assistant the previous three years on the other side of the Hudson.

“My confidence level is obviously high,” said Hughes, who has six points (2-4) through three contests. “I think it’s always been high, you know, but we’re building and I’m building personally.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com