Oct 27, 2021

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The New Jersey Devils’ hockey team have selected 18-year-old forward Jack Hughes as the number one overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. A top prospect going into the draft, Hughes, was born in Orlando, Fl, but was raised in Mississauga, Ontario. His mother, Ellen Weinberg-Hughes is Jewish. An impressive athlete herself, Weinberg-Hughes played a variety of sports including ice hockey, lacrosse, and soccer at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). She was also inducted into the UNH Athletics Hall of Fame. She also played for the US women’s ice hockey team winning a silver medal at the 1992 World Championship. 

Jack Hughes is therefore Halachikally (according to Jewish law) Jewish and had a Bar Mitzvah despite going to Catholic school. As an American national, Hughes told Fox Business about the moment he realized that he was selected number one overall describing it as “a surreal moment.” Adding that “It was unreal.”

Martin Brodeur, an executive with the team said of the teenage phenom ““I think he’s going to change our organization. He’s a tremendous talent. He’s a young American”. Brodeur noted that being American born could draw a larger crowd than many Canadian players in the NHL. “Obviously, we’re trying to grow the sport and so for us, having our fans be able to cheer on somebody from their own, and we’re trying to get better, trying to get to a Stanley Cup championship-caliber team. He’s going to be a big part of the puzzle going forward” he added.

Hughes broke the U.S. National Team Development Program (USNTDP) all time points record for the 2018-2019 season. In a 12–4 decisive victory over the Green Bay Gamblers, he tallied five points garnering 190 overall.