The New Jersey Devils extended their franchise cornerstone Jack Hughes to an eight-year deal that sees him earning $8 million per season through the 2028-29 season. My contract projections had him in the $5-6 million AAV ballpark, which would have made some sense on a short-term bridge deal. The Devils sure didn't want to bet against him popping off right away, so it's a big price tag to fit for cap league owners in the immediate future, but he should be playing up to (or even way past) that level very soon.
In Hughes' return from a shoulder injury, he actually played wing alongside Yegor Sharangovich and Nico Hischier through the first two periods. In the third Janne Kuokkanen was swapped for Hischier, with Sharangovich taking the faceoffs. Both lines funnelled chances for San Jose all game, though to be fair the entire Devils team looked flat in front of Mackenzie Blackwood, who also didn't do them any favours. Hughes is unlikely to be taking many draws as it would be putting large and unnecessary stress on his recently injured shoulder.
The Sharks got contributions from across the lineup, with 10 different players notching points. The powerplay also went one-for-three, but it's tough to rely on anyone from their team for power play points. The team is scoring on less than 20% of their power plays, and they're also splitting their talent between two equal units. As a result, it might be time to look into shopping Erik Karlsson, Logan Couture, and Kevin Labanc.
Drew Doughty and Drake Batherson also made returns for their respective clubs. Both players are putting up career numbers thus far (though Doughty's is in a very small sample size), and should be a bit part of competing fantasy teams moving forwards. Expect Doughty's numbers to regress a little closer to his production from the last few years, meanwhile Batherson's numbers look entirely sustainable.
The Flyers' centre ice position is still in a state of flux right now. Carlie O'Connor has it as succinctly as possible for you here: