Jack Hughes - King Clancy Nomination - Apr. 17, 2024

Devils center Jack Hughes has been nominated as the team’s representative for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which is given annually to “the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community.”

Hughes has been an active member of the community since being selected by the Devils No. 1 overall in 2019. Among his many causes are contributions to youth hockey, access to hockey, hospital visits, growing the game and building the community.  

Jack, along with his younger brother Luke, was named the first official ambassadors for Hockey in New Jersey (HNJ). At a gala event for the announcement, Hughes helped raise money that will go directly to the HNJ program and help grow the sport in Newark and the surrounding areas. With Hughes’ support, the event sold out with over 300 people in attendance.

“This is such a great thing, where it’s my love for the game, and kids in Newark, and our community,” Jack said two weeks ago on being named co-ambassador for the next five years, “where it gives me a chance, and Luke a chance, to grow the game a little bit and show these kids that we’re around, that they’re out there working on their game and enjoying the game. It’s a common passion between all of us, no matter what your background is, and just a really special thing.”

“With his five-year commitment, Jack will play a pivotal role in expanding the reach of HNJ’s programs to support and inspire socioeconomically disadvantaged youth,” said Keith Veltre, CEO of Hockey in New Jersey.

Jack Hughes is the Devils' King Clancy Nominee

HNJ, founded in 2003, sets out to inspire youth to develop life skills, succeed academically and create positive relationships through the sport of hockey. The organization provides free gear, ice time, coaching, life skills training and academic assistance for those aged 6-18.

Hughes, and his brother, pop in periodically throughout the year to different youth clinics and other events for surprise visits and on-ice sessions with the HNJ participants.

“Jack Hughes brings tremendous value to HNJ as our official ambassadors,” said Richard A. Giuditta, Jr. Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Hockey in New Jersey. “His presence, with brother Luke, will continue to inspire our participants to reach their full potential.”

Hughes teamed up with Bauer for a donation for Hockey in New Jersey. In January, Hughes ran a clinic with HNJ kids that were brand new to the sport, surprising them with all new equipment prior to the event. All of the children were new to the sport and had little to no equipment. This event helped kids get fitted properly with equipment including skates, shin pads, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, helmets and sticks. They participated in an event on the main ice at Prudential Center where Hughes surprised them with a visit and spent the afternoon with them.

The Hughes brothers become ambassadors for HNJ

While much of the above is publicized, Hughes also makes community visits away from the cameras. His favorite place to drop in is the Ironbound Rink in Newark, which is home to Hockey in New Jersey. These are special moments intended only for Hughes and the kids to build a bond.

Hughes has also participated in other community programs and events, such as the Jersey Girls Hockey Club, the Devils Youth Foundation and hospital visits.

But one moment that really stands out is his meeting with 13-year-old Charlie Shomers, who underwent treatment for a baseball-sized tumor in his brain. Charlie joined the Devils’ Hockey Fights Cancer celebrations in late November. He enjoyed many core memories, including meeting his favorite player.

“I signed the contract, met Jack Hughes, he signed my own jersey, puck and hockey stick,” Charlie said. “It was awesome and amazing. I can’t describe it any other way.”

The award winner is chosen by select members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and the NHL Broadcasters' Association.