The 2021 NHL Drat wrapped over the weekend. And on this week's episode of Speak of the Devils, reporters Amanda Stein and Sam Kasan join host Matt Loughlin in recapping the newest acquisitions for New Jersey. Here are some of the highlights.
Stein: I was in Prudential Center where all the fans were gathered. Matty, you were there. I was thinking to myself as Tom Fitzgerald and his staff were walking out onto the stage, they better pick Luke here. Not because it's what the crowd wanted, but it would have been a very interesting moment caught if it wasn't Luke. There were Luke signs, and chants of "We Want Luke" and all that. That was my initial thought. I didn't hope who they were going to pick. I was like, I hope for Fitzy's sake that's the way they landed in the end. They did. It was an awesome moment. It was a great moment for the Devils franchise and the Hughes family.
Loughlin: It was a good moment. The crowd loved it. And of course, the reaction of the family. I loved the video, and with Jack being so excited. Gosh, I think he's still shaking as he was hugging his brother. I loved Jim Hughes. Go back and look at the video. The family is there, the name gets mentioned and Jack jumps up and he's shaking and hugging him. Jim Hughes is sitting there, I think he has his arms folded, and he leans to his left and is like, 'what is going on here?' as he looking at them as a proud dad.
Kasan: One of the things that stood out to me when (Luke) did his media availability and I asked him about going to Michigan next year with four guys drafted in the top five picks, how excited he was. You could see him perk up and how excited he was right away. You can tell that he's amped up to get to college and compete for an NCAA title, a national title. Someone else asked how long he thinks he needs to mature and he said, obviously he needs at least one year, but he said maybe two years. He's taking it year-by-year. He said if he goes and is lights out after his freshman year and hits all the steps and markers that he needs to hit then he would consider it then. But in his mind, I think he's looking at two years. I don't know what management things, but obviously there's nothing better than developing at the college level, especially with that level of competition.