To put it simply, Jack Hughes owned Friday night hockey.
The New Jersey Devils forward gave his team an overtime win with some stellar stickhandling and a skillful backhand finish. But what came after that may have been even more unbelievable.
Hughes, only 20 years old and entering his third NHL season, celebrated his second of the night by immediately tossing his stick into the stands at Prudential Center, as Devils fans went wild and the Chicago Blackhawks fumed on the ice.
That's a legendary celly — you have to appreciate the moxie of the budding American star. It's pretty symbolic that Patrick Kane could be spotted in the background.
Safe to say fans were hyped about the whole sequence:
Jack Hughes with the celly of the year. Throws the stick over the glass after the win? Nothing all year will beat that.
Talk about a walk-off! #NJDevils
— Kyle Cannillo (@KyleCannillo) October 16, 2021
This celly by Jack Hughes is COLD https://t.co/4hoP7nqgLp
— Juan Morales (@77JMorales) October 16, 2021
“Won’t be needing this anymore” -Jack Hughs to his hockey stick
— Cole Leahy (@mrleahy_) October 16, 2021
The euphoria was more than warranted. New Jersey led the game 3-2 until 19:34 in the third period, when Dominic Kubalik tied it up and sent it to overtime. But Chicago's comeback fell short, thanks to the 2019 No. 1 overall pick.
Hughes finished his last NHL campaign with 11 goals and 31 points over 56 games. He suffered an undisclosed injury during a preseason game against the New York Islanders earlier in October, but has clearly bounced back from that, already adding two points to his tally in this young 2021-22 season.