Jack Hughes out with dislocated shoulder, will be re-evaluated next week

The Devils will be without Jack Hughes after he dislocated his shoulder during Tuesday’s win over the Seattle Kraken.

An MRI on Hughes’ shoulder found no further damage and he will not require surgery. Physical therapy is under way and he will be re-evaluated next week to determine a timeline for recovery.

Hughes was upended along the boards by Kraken defenseman Jeremy Lauzon late in the first period. The 20-year-old landed awkwardly on the ice and skated to the dressing room favoring his left shoulder.

“I watched the hit. I don’t like the way he fell,” said Devils head coach Lindy Ruff. “But the hit itself, I couldn’t find a lot that I would criticize. I’ve had my share of shoulder injuries and when you stick your arm out, something bad can happen.”

Bad timing

The news is a big blow to a Devils team off to a 2-0-0 start. Hughes has been a factor in New Jersey’s opening two games, scoring twice in their overtime win against the Blackhawks (and donating his stick to the crowd in the celebration) and adding an assist in Tuesday’s victory over Seattle.

After a tough rookie season, Hughes took a big step forward in his development in 2020 with 11 goals and 31 points in the shortened 56-game season. He can become a restricted free agent this summer and his agent, Pat Brisson, has reportedly started preliminary talks with Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald, according to Pierre LeBrun. It’ll be interesting how that ends up. Nico Hischier went the long-term route with a seven-year deal two years ago, as did Nick Suzuki and Brady Tkachuk with their recent deals.

Michael McLeod was bumped to the No. 2 center spot during Wednesday’s practice ahead of their game against the Capitals, while Frederik Gauthier was moved into the fourth line center role.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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