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      Devils star Jack Hughes exits Friday’s game after crashing into boards

      Hughes left Friday's game against the St. Louis Blues after crashing into the end boards midway through the first period.

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      New Jersey Devils forward Jack Hughes left Friday’s game against the St. Louis Blues after crashing into the boards midway through the first period.

      Hughes tripped and fell after bursting into the Blues’ end and taking a shot on goaltender Jordan Binnington. Although Blues defensemen Justin Faulk and Torey Krug both attempted to disrupt the rush with their sticks, it appeared Hughes stumbled on his own accord.

      Although he briefly attempted to return to play with one more 59-second shift in the first period, Hughes headed down the tunnel to the Devils’ locker room afterward. He did not return to the bench for the start of the second period.

      The Devils and Blues were locked in a scoreless tie at the time of Hughes’ injury. St. Louis currently leads by a 2–1 score during the second period of play at Enterprise Center.

      Hughes, 22, entered Friday’s game leading the Devils with five goals and 20 points in nine games to start the 2023–24 season. The Devils originally selected the 5’11” center with the No. 1 overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft.

      Hughes made his NHL debut with the Devils in 2019–20, managing just seven goals and 61 points on a Devils team that finished far out of playof contention. The Orlando, Florida product has steadily improved in the years since, topping out at 43 goals and 99 points in 78 games with New Jersey in 2022–23.

      In 2021, the Devils signed Hughes to an eight-year contract worth $8 million per season. He’s currently in the second year of that deal, which already looks like one of the biggest bargains in the entire NHL.

      Through 254 career games over parts of five seasons with the Devils, Hughes has racked up 92 goals and 227 points. He’s added six goals and 11 points in 12 career playoff contests.

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