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Short Shifts

Hughes gifts new No. 86 jersey to Devils fan who made a No. 43 for draft

Devils forward gives new sweater to fan who jumped the gun on customizing one

by Dan O'Leary @DanOLeary25 / NHL.com Staff Writer

New Jersey Devils fan Ryan Lorello was way too excited for his team to draft Jack Hughes this summer.

He has the jersey with the wrong number to prove it and now, thanks to Hughes himself, he also has the right one.

Lorello, a junior at Stockton University in southern New Jersey, had a brief moment of fame during the 2019 NHL Draft when he displayed what may have been the first Jack Hughes Devils jersey around.

The Devils fan was photographed holding up a customized Devils jersey with Hughes' name on the back and the number 43, which Hughes wore while starring for Team USA.

It seemed like a good idea, until the Devils rookie debuted his new number this preseason, 86.

Thankfully, that situation has been rectified.

Lorello was gifted a brand new No. 86 by Hughes while the young forward was working the register at the team store at Prudential Center as part of Devils Fan Fest Saturday night.

Tweet from @NJDevils: Nothing like getting a Hughes Jersey from Jack himself 👏 pic.twitter.com/79XAF2ECvE

"We were coming up a little late, coming from school, it's about a two-hour drive," Lorello told NHL.com. "We were going to just go get our tickets and go to the seats, but I saw a bunch of security guards around the team store and was like 'I wonder who is over there.'"

Upon investigating, Lorello and his roommate, Blake Greenberg, saw that Hughes was behind the counter, talking with fans and signing autographs.

When his turn in line came up, Lorello had to mention the No. 43 he owned.

"I told him 'I'm the guy who had the No. 43 jersey on draft day' and he told me to go take an 86 off the shelf. I thought he meant like I should go buy a new one, joking or whatever. But he said to go take one. And I was like, 'Seriously?' and he said 'Yea, go take one, it's on me."

Lorello's tweet about the encounter went viral pretty quickly.

Tweet from @rlorello97: Made this Hughes jersey for the fan fest in June (Thinking he was gunna be 43) Tonight he was signing in the store before the game. I told him that was me. HE SAID GO TAKE AN 86 OFF THE SHELF!! And signed it too! Thank you so much Jack !!! I can���t stop shaking ! pic.twitter.com/3EVMO5bIsC

Hughes autographed the new 86 jersey, Lorello's hat and Lorello and Greenberg got to snap a few selfies with the No. 1 pick.

"I put that right on, autograph or not there was no way I wasn't wearing it," Lorello said.

There is one problem, however. Lorello is a transfer, so it is only his first year at Stockton. This will be the first season he is living far from Prudential Center.

"By school (south New Jersey) the bars, it's all Philly and Philly fans everywhere," Lorello said. "I'll watch a lot of games on the MSG app, but with the team (the Devils) are putting out there this year I think we might have to make the drive a lot more times than we thought."

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