Ice Hockey

Luke Hughes Signs with New Jersey Devils



Luke Hughes Signs with New Jersey Devils

4/8/2023 11:25:00 AM

// Kristy McNeil

NEWARK, N.J. — University of Michigan ice hockey sophomore defenseman Luke Hughes, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2021 NHL Draft, has a signed a three-year contract with the New Jersey Devils, the team announced on Saturday (April 8).

A two-time first-team All-American while at Michigan, Hughes helped the Wolverines to back-to-back Big Ten Tournament Championships and Frozen Four appearances.

Hughes finished his sophomore campaign ranked second in the nation in defenseman scoring, averaging 1.24 points per game. In 39 games, the Canton, Mich., native scored 10 goals and dished out 37 assists for a total of 48 points. After a five-point performance against Colgate at the NCAA Regionals, he was named the Most Outstanding Performer and captured his second straight All-Regional Team honor. During the 2022-23 season, outstanding performances included a four-goal rip against Penn State in January and an overtime winner with 0.6 seconds left to defeat Michigan State and give the Wolverines their sixth-straight Duel in the D title. Hughes was a finalist for the Big Ten Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards, while earning first-team all-league honors. During the season, he was named the B1G First Star of the Week on three occasions.

In addition to being named an alternate captain of the team in 2022-23, his role changed significantly with him taking a leadership role on the blue line, increasing his time on ice from 22:08 in 2021-22 to 25:08 in 2022-23.

In his first season as a Wolverine, Hughes led the NCAA’s defensemen with 39 points on 17 goals and 22 assists in 41 games and also led all rookies in scoring, in any position. He set a Michigan program record for most points and most goals scored and by rookie defenseman. He was named the Big Ten co-Rookie of the Year, the College Hockey News Rookie of the Year and was a second-team All-America and second-team All-Big Ten selection.

While at Michigan, Hughes was named to three World Junior teams, winning bronze as team captain in 2023 as he averaged 23:01 with Team USA with five points in seven games. In August, he had six points in five games and was also a member of the team in January when the tournament was canceled. At the 2022 World Championships, Hughes had a goal and three assists in 10 games.

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