Jack Hughes
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Hughes shines on the Devils and at the league level in Week 11.

Leen Amin

After 10 days off, the New Jersey Devils returned to action on Dec. 29th to begin a three-game week.

Week 11 was going to be huge for the Devils: they would return to the ice with the goal of ending their abysmal six-game losing streak and turning things around before it becomes too late.

The Devils kicked things off with a win against the unimpressive Buffalo Sabres to put an end to their losing streak. Head coach Lindy Ruff went on to test positive for COVID-19 hours before the team’s next game against the Edmonton Oilers.

The Devils continued their fantastic play against one of the best offenses in hockey and then against a top-three team in the league in the Washington Capitals.


Alain Nasreddine took over behind the bench during those two games and made the Devils look like a completely different team, adding to the argument that Ruff’s time in New Jersey should come to an end soon.

Nasreddine has done a fabulous job, but which players deserve the most credit for this turn of events?

Player of the Week: C Jack Hughes

@ BUF: 1 G, 2 A
vs. EDM: 2 G, 1 A
@ WSH: 2 A
Average Game Score: 2.82
Average defensive impact: 0.25

This was another incredible week for the Devils’ star center, who’s been pretty awesome since returning from injury. Hughes scored an impressive three goals and eight points in three games this week.

 

He opened the scoring against Edmonton and finished things off, winning the game for his team in overtime.

Hughes was a top-five player on the Devils in each game, including the team’s best against Buffalo. He also got it done defensively and continues to improve in that regard.

Hughes’ best week of the season gained nationwide recognition. He was named the NHL’s second star of the week for his outstanding play.

Hughes is growing into a true star and if the Devils hope to turn the season around, they’re going to need their best player to keep this up.

Honorable Mention #1: LW Yegor Sharangovich

@ BUF: 1 G, 1 A
vs. EDM: 1 G
@ WSH: 1 G
Average Game Score: 2.32
Average defensive impact: 0.23

We’ve talked about how the Devils may have found something great with the Sharangovich-Hughes-Bratt line. This week was further proof.

Sharangovich has been transforming back into the dangerous goal-scorer that we saw last year during his rookie season. He was a top-four player for the team twice this week and is now on a four-game point-streak and has scored a goal in three-straight.

Sharangovich gave the team an exhilarating moment to celebrate when he tied the game against Edmonton with 30 seconds left.

Sharangovich getting off to a very slow start was one of the reasons why the Devils are in this unfortunate position, so seeing him finally get going is encouraging.

Honorable Mention #2: RHD P.K. Subban

@ BUF: 1 A
@ WSH: 1 A
Average Game Score: 1.90
Average defensive impact: 0.27

Subban returned with another truly solid week.

He was, by far, the team’s best defenseman and an incredible game against the Sabres is a massive reason why he made the cut. Subban was phenomenal in both zones and earned a season-high Game Score of 4.47.

Subban’s been playing much better over the past month or so and the hope is that he can maintain some consistency playing at this level as the season progresses.

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.