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An Eight-Year Extension For Jack Hughes

via the New Jersey Devils,

The New Jersey Devils today signed center Jack Hughes to an eight-year contract extension with an average annual value of $8,000,000 (total value $64,000,000). Hughes would have become a restricted free agent at the end of the 2021-22 season. The contract begins in 2022-23 and the breakdown is as follows: 2022-23: $9,000,000, 2023-24: $8,500,000, 2024-25:  $8,500,000, 2025-26: $8,500,000, 2026-27: $8,000,000, 2027-28: $7,500,000, 2028-29: $7,000,000 & 2029-30: $7,000,000. The announcement was made by Devils Executive Vice President/General Manager Tom Fitzgerald.

"I'm so excited to sign this deal for myself and for my family," said Hughes. "I love being in New Jersey and I love playing in New Jersey. I wouldn't want to play anywhere else, and we are really building something special. I believe in what we are doing here, and we have a great chance to be successful for a long time. This contract shows that this team is extremely invested in me and I'm also really dedicated to this organization. I want to thank Tom Fitzgerald, David Blitzer, Josh Harris, and everyone with the New Jersey Devils for this opportunity."

"I am ecstatic for Jack and his entire family," said Devils Managing Partner David Blitzer. "This is a strong commitment from Jack to the organization's future and the New Jersey Devils to Jack. We all know what Jack means to the team on and off the ice- he's an unbelievable player and a fantastic person. His future is incredibly bright and he will be a pillar for our franchise for years to come."

"This deal is fantastic both for Jack and the New Jersey Devils," said Devils Co-Managing Partner Josh Harris. "I know our fans are enthusiastic about our young core as they grow together and look to achieve tremendous levels of success. I want to thank Tom Fitzgerald for his work on getting this deal completed, as he continues to make excellent decisions for this organization that sets us up for the future."

"Today is a big day for the New Jersey Devils," said Fitzgerald. "This contract shows the commitment Jack and his family have made to us, and how the organization- myself, David Blitzer and Josh Harris- are in turn committed to them. We are building something unique and special here, with Jack being a core piece of that. This is just the start of where we believe we can go with this organization, as we work towards sustained success for years to come."

Hughes, 20, will return to the lineup tonight after missing the last 17 games due to a left shoulder dislocation suffered on October 19 against Seattle. The left-handed shot currently has two goals and one assist in two games this year. Hughes is in his third NHL season after New Jersey drafted him first overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. The 5-foot-11, 180lbs. center was the team's second first-overall selection in team history, after New Jersey drafted Nico Hischier No. 1 overall in 2017.

In his first two seasons, along with the two games played this year, he has totaled 55 points (20g-35a) in 119 career NHL contests. Hughes earned 31 of those points in 56 games played in 2020-21, where he scored 11 goals and collected 20 assists. He finished tied for second in the League in takeaways with 56, he was tied for first amongst centers (L. Draisaitl) and finished first at center in takeaways per 60 minutes (3.14). Hughes finished second on the Devils in points last season, and led the club with 142 shots on goal while pacing all forwards with 19:04 ATOI. Additionally, he was the only forward and one of only two New Jersey skaters (D. Severson) who dressed in all 56 games for the team in 2021-22. Last season, he became the 10th teenager in franchise history to earn at least 35 career points prior to turning 20-years-old.

Hughes represented the United States twice at the International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) U18 World Junior Championships- 2018 and 2019. The forward was named captain of Team USA in 2019, won a Silver Medal and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after recording 20 points (9g-11a) in seven games played. During the tournament, he passed Alexander Ovechkin for most career points at the IIHF Men's World Under-18 Championship, recording 32 points in 14 games. Additionally, he played in four games for Team USA at the 2019 U-20 WJC and tallied four assists. Hughes also played in the 2019 World Championship in Slovakia registering three assists in seven games played and became the youngest player ever to suit up for USA Hockey at the senior world championship.

Born May 14, 2001, in Orlando, Florida, Hughes has won multiple awards during his hockey career, including USA Hockey Junior Player of the Year during the 2017-18 season. He played his youth hockey in Toronto with the Toronto Marlboros in the GTMMHL. Jack's younger brother, Luke, was New Jersey's first-round selection, and the fourth overall choice, in the 2021 NHL Draft. The defenseman is currently playing at the University of Michigan (Big Ten). His older brother, Quinn is a defenseman for the Vancouver Canucks.

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

Comments

Avatar

That’s ALOT of $$ for still unrealized potential performance…...

Posted by pnwwing on 11/30/21 at 05:19 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Crap. 20 years old too. Used to be guys didn’t get those sorts of contracts until they were 25 or so and becoming a UFA.

Posted by TreKronor on 11/30/21 at 05:48 PM ET

Avatar

I’m sure from his point of view there is career and lifetime security
even though he’s battled some injuries and started a bit slower than some projected.

The alternative is 10M+ for someone with gaudier numbers like Marner.

For NJ, 8M is a relative bargain to lock in for the player
Hughes has shown flashes of being and is still projected to be.
If his shoulder isn’t a continuing problem, a first line center
at that price will make it much easier to get others to buy in and to assemble a
deeper more balanced roster over his prime years.

Eventually GMs corrected from obviously irrational competition to sign already aging power forward types coming off a career season. Now guys get paid while still under team control and before or at the start of their prime years. In some cases it simply won’t be a good investment due to injury or a player who never reaches his potential. But in a cap league in which prime is early-mid twenties, it’s a better risk than paying a guy over thirty for what he did for his previous team.

Posted by lefty.30 on 11/30/21 at 05:55 PM ET

SYF's avatar

That’s Raymond money even if he’s a winger.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 11/30/21 at 07:26 PM ET

Kaszycki and his Krew's avatar

I think it’s a good investment.  He could be a 10 mill player if he improves and exceeds expectations. 

Does this buy any of his UFA years or just gets him there?

Posted by Kaszycki and his Krew on 11/30/21 at 09:35 PM ET

Avatar

They have 2 Hughes,  paying to keep them both probably even if some potential is still unrealized

Posted by ThatGuy on 11/30/21 at 09:46 PM ET

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My prediction-  by the end of this deal everyone will say Seider was the best player to come out of that draft and will be more impactful to his team.

Posted by SevensForTed on 11/30/21 at 10:23 PM ET

Avatar

Raymond and Seider’s next contract ain’t going to come cheap, Gone are the days where quality RFAs have “reasonable” deals while still under team control.

It’s obviously a calculated risk but does make sense. Better to pay a young player for future potential than an older play for past performance.

Posted by evileye on 12/01/21 at 11:26 AM ET

SYF's avatar

I’m guessing Yzerman will probably go the bridge-deal route before handing over the big check.  Seider and Raymond could be this generation’s Yzerman and Lidstrom.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 12/01/21 at 01:26 PM ET

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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.

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