Devils select Luke Hughes with No. 4 pick
The New Jersey Devils drafted defenseman Luke Hughes with the fourth overall selection in the 2021 NHL Draft.
Weight: 176 lbs
Club: U.S. National Team Development Program
(Stats source: EliteProspects.com)
Luke will team up with brother Jack - the first overall pick in 2019 - in New Jersey. Both are brothers of Vancouver Canucks blue-liner Quinn Hughes. As a defenseman, Luke will draw more comparisons to Quinn, but he shares traits with both of his NHL siblings.
Like his brothers, Luke is a world-class skater. He has great straight-line speed, but his edge work and agility are arguably even better. He's also four inches taller than Quinn and three inches taller than Jack, giving him substantial upside.
However, he's still quite lanky and could stand to add some muscle before turning pro. Going straight from the draft to the NHL appears highly unlikely, especially considering he's already committed to Michigan for the 2021-22 campaign.
The year of NCAA development should serve Hughes well. Despite his offensive talents, he needs to work on the defensive aspects of his game.
What they're saying
"In a sentence, Hughes projects as a top-pair defenseman who can be on a power play and be elite in transition but will have issues matching up versus top players," said The Athletic's Corey Pronman.
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