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Meet the 'Other' Jack Hughes

The 2022 NHL draft prospect has more than just a name and a background in common with the Devils center.
Jack Hughes

So, there’s a young man named Jack Hughes, who used to play center for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, has an older brother who also plays the sport and whose dad is in the hockey business. No, it’s not that Jack Hughes; this is another Jack Hughes. This one plays at Northeastern University and is a top-50 prospect for the 2022 NHL draft. But the coincidence is a bit wild, eh?

Hughes’ older brother, Riley, is a New York Rangers draft pick and a teammate on the NCAA’s Huskies. Their dad is Kent Hughes, the former agent and new GM of the Montreal Canadiens. But there’s something else that both Jacks Hughes have in common: big-time skills.

Jack Hughes

Northeastern’s Jack Hughes, born in 2003, was a true freshman this season and the youngest college player in the nation. “It was definitely something that was a little bit difficult at times,” Hughes said. “Depending on the team we played, a lot of guys were heavier and stronger. But I thought to myself that I would just play my game because I’m not super physical, and that’s not what I’m best at.”

A nasty bout of the flu sapped his strength (something he wants to improve over the summer) in November, and COVID came knocking in December, which helps explain why Hughes didn’t put up a lot of points early on. But the playmaking pivot did end on a positive note with five points in his final five games – he had 16 in 39 games overall – helping the Huskies reach the Frozen Four regionals before losing to Western Michigan in the first round. “Credit to my teammates and coaches, they kept telling me to stick with my game and told me I was playing well even though I wasn’t scoring a ton,” he said. “It felt good to get rewarded at the end, but I was thinking more about the playoffs and national tournament.”

The fact Riley was on the team helped, too. In fact, Hughes’ older brother had him come to Boston to introduce himself to all his teammates last season, and they got together once in the summer as well. So when Jack arrived on campus this year, he was already comfortable with the crew.

As for dad, Kent Hughes’ change of occupations hasn’t impacted his interest in his sons’ burgeoning careers. “Every time I see him, he still tells me what he thinks of my game and texts me clips of me and my brother, so nothing has changed,” said Hughes with a laugh. “He’ll probably always be like that.” 

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