New Jersey Devils defenseman Luke Hughes had a night to remember during his NHL Playoff debut in Game 3 of the Second Round Playoff Series against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Devils emerged victorious, winning the game 8-4 and narrowing the series deficit to 2 games to 1. Stepping in for the injured Ryan Graves, Luke Hughes made an immediate impact on the ice.
During his debut, Hughes logged 14:28 of ice time, recording 0 shots, 2 assists, 1 blocked shot, and an even rating. With this performance, he tied the record for most points by a teenage defenseman in their playoff debut, sharing the honor with Miro Heiskanen and Erik Karlsson since the year 2000, both of whom also tallied 2 points. 2 points is the all time record as well, the list of names does expand past the 2000s with names like Ray Borque.
Devils coach Lindy Ruff praised the young defenseman’s performance, stating, “I thought Luke had a great night, from the first shift until the end of the game. You expect maybe you’d get a good game, but we got a great game.” Ruff’s comments suggest that Hughes may have earned himself a spot in the lineup for Game 4.
Luke’s brother, Jack Hughes, also had an impressive showing in Game 3, taking 4 shots and scoring 2 goals along with 2 assists for a total of 4 points on the night. Jack contributed 2 takeaways and a +2 rating during his 17:11 of ice time.
Luke Hughes made his NHL Debut near the end of the 2022-2023 regular season, when he finished his college season and was then signed by the Devils. Luke Hughes Playoff Debut