The New Jersey Devils have signed forward Jack Hughes to an eight-year contract extension worth $8 million in average annual value (AAV). The deal kicks in at the beginning of the 2022-23 season and runs through the 2029-30 season with a 10-team no-trade clause (NTC) in the final four years of the contract.
Hughes was drafted first overall by the Devils in the 2019 Draft and made his NHL debut on Oct. 4, 2019 against the Winnipeg Jets. He didn’t score his first goal until Oct. 19, when he played head-to-head against his older brother Quinn. He finished his rookie season with seven goals and 21 points in 61 games along with a minus-26 in the plus/minus column.
Hughes bounced back in his sophomore season with a solid 11 goals and 31 points in 56 games and was better defensively too, increasing his plus/minus to a much more respectable minus-3. He started this season on a tear with two goals and three points in his first two games but suffered a shoulder injury on Oct. 19 that has kept him out of the Devils’ lineup for the past six weeks. He is scheduled to make his return tonight against the San Jose Sharks.
Fitzgerald Banking On Hughes’ Potential
With a massive contract that will keep Hughes in New Jersey for the next eight years, general manager Tom Fitzgerald and the Devils are banking on him hitting his potential. He only has 20 goals in 119 games and has never scored more than 11 goals in a season yet. He’s shown flashes of skill in the NHL but has yet to fully establish himself as a superstar forward worth $8 million AAV.
Hughes will have the rest of this season to prove himself before his contract becomes a potential weight on his shoulders. When his new deal comes into effect, he will be the highest-paid forward on the Devils’ roster, just ahead of captain Nico Hischier’s $7.25 million AAV.
I’m so excited to sign this deal for myself and for my family…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.
Jack Hughes after signing his new contract extension with the Devils
The Devils are hoping that Hughes, Hischier, Dawson Mercer and Alexander Holtz are the building blocks to a future filled with Stanley Cups. With Hughes and Hischier locked up until the 2026-27 season and Mercer and Holtz just starting their journeys in the NHL, it will be interesting to watch how it all unfolds. If all goes to plan, this contract could look like a steal in a few years.
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, media editor, and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.