On eve of shoulder surgery, Devils shut down Jack Hughes

ByRyan S. Clark ESPN logo
Tuesday, April 9, 2024

New Jersey Devils star center Jack Hughes will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery Wednesday, the team announced Tuesday.

Hughes, his family, his representatives and the Devils medical staff determined it would be in the best interest of the 22-year-old to proceed with shoulder surgery, the team said in a statement. Hughes' surgery will be performed by Dr. Peter Millett in Vail, Colorado, with the expectation he will make a full recovery prior to the Devils opening training camp next fall.

Earlier in the day, Devils interim coach Travis Green said Hughes was going to miss Tuesday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs with an upper-body injury.

Losing Hughes comes as the Devils are trying to reach the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. Last season saw the Devils reach the second round after missing the postseason for four straight campaigns.

Hughes, who leads the team with 27 goals while his 74 points rank second on the Devils, had already missed 11 games in January with an upper-body injury. The Devils struggled to find consistency during that time as they went 4-6-1.

Coming into Tuesday, the Devils were five points behind the Detroit Red Wings in what has become a competitive race for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot. It's also the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference that's available with the Tampa Bay Lightning already clinching a place while having a nine-point gap ahead of the Red Wings.

The Devils are one of five teams that are within five points of the Red Wings. The Pittsburgh Penguins are tied on points with the Red Wings but have played one fewer game. The Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals are a point behind the Red Wings, while Devils and Sabres each have 78 points.