Jack Hughes’ first NHL goal is against brother, wins game for NJ
New Jersey rookie Jack Hughes celebrates his first NHL goal, which he scored against his brother Quinn’s team, the Canucks.
Jack Hughes came out on top in the first NHL meeting between him and his older brother, Quinn Hughes.
Jack, an 18-year-old center and the top overall pick in the NHL draft in June, scored the game’s only goal in the New Jersey Devils’ 1-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks at the Prudential Center in Newark on Saturday afternoon.
He had gone seven games without a goal – was minus 4 – and did not get his first assist until the seventh game, a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers on Thursday night.
He got his first goal in front of almost 80 family members, including parents Jim and Ellen, and friends. The Hughes family home has been in Canton, MI, the past three years.
"It's such an awesome feeling,” Jack told the Associated Press. "To come out here and play in front of my family and friends. It's nice to be able to beat Quinn.”
Quinn Hughes, a 20-year-old defenseman taken by the Canucks with the seventh pick in the 2018 draft, had mixed emotions.
"I want to see him have success, but not too much against us," Quinn told reporters after the game. "If we were going to lose 1-0, I'm happy he did it. But at the same time, I'm not happy we lost. There's a lot of brotherly love, but I wish we were winning 1-0."
Quinn took a minor penalty, had a block and a takeaway in 22:41 of ice time.
The lone goal came on the power play with 5:52 left in the first period. Set up in the right circle, Jack took a cross-ice pass from Taylor Hall and whipped a wrist shot just under the crossbar to beat Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko.
"It was such a thrill," Hughes said after the game. "I was really happy to do that today. said it to me on the bench, 'There's nothing else like it.' It was such an unreal feeling. Hopefully I can get a few more."
Jack became the first player to score his first NHL goal in a 1-0 regular-season game since the Red Wings’ Andreas Athanasiou did it against Washington on Nov. 10, 2015.
According to the NHL, Jack Hughes is also the ninth player to get his first goal in a game against his brother. It last happened in 2012, when forward scored his first NHL goal against his brother and the .
Their father, Mike Foligno, played for Detroit from 1979-80 until 1981-82.
And, at 18 years and 158 days, Jack is the second-youngest Devils player to score his first career goal. The only younger New Jersey player to do so was Grosse Pointe native Craig Wolanin, who got his first goal at 18 years, 135 days in 1985-86.
It was only the second time overall that Jack and Quinn have played against each other. Last season, in an exhibition game, Jack led the National Team Development Program 18-U team with three points as they defeated Quinn’s University of Michigan squad, 6-3.
The only Hughes family member not in Newark on Saturday was their younger brother, Luke. At 16, the defenseman is already a member of the NTDP 17-U team, which played the Chicago Steel in a United States Hockey League game Saturday.
But everybody else was at the Prudential Center.
"They're just as happy as I am," Jack Hughes said. "I saw the video of my mom and dad celebrating (the goal). I think they were pretty pumped up. We'll go out to dinner here and celebrate a little bit."