Devils' Jack Hughes won't be released to Team USA for world juniors

Brian Burke is back from vacation and has A LOT to say about all things hockey including the potential return of NHL and the difficulties facing the World Junior hockey tournament in Alberta.

The New Jersey Devils will not release Jack Hughes to Team USA for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton, saying they want Hughes to focus on the upcoming NHL season instead.

"We need Jack to concentrate on the Devils," Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald told "The silver lining for Jack [and all of our young players] during this pandemic was a lengthy opportunity to gain strength and weight to compete in the NHL when we start."

The first-overall pick from the 2019 NHL Draft scored 21 points in 61 games as a rookie last season. Hughes played for the U.S. at the 2019 world juniors where he had four points in four games.

The Devils were one of seven teams that did not return to play this summer and the team has not played a game since a March 10 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

USA Hockey announced its preliminary roster for the 2021 world juniors Monday, which includes top prospects Jake Sanderson, Cole Caufield and Nick Robertson, among others. The team will hold its selection camp at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich., from Dec. 6-13.

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