Devils’ Jack Hughes exits game against Blues with upper-body injury

New Jersey Devils star Jack Hughes takes a hard fall and crashes into the boards, then takes another fall minutes later; Hughes would head to the locker room and did not return with an upper body injury.

New Jersey Devils star centre Jack Hughes left Friday’s game against the St. Louis Blues with an upper-body injury.

Hughes appeared to lose his balance and crashed hard into the boards nine minutes into the opening frame.

After returning to the ice for his next shift, Hughes headed to the locker room and did not return.

After the game, coach Lindy Ruff told reporters Hughes will be re-evaluated on Saturday.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that it may take a day or two to determine the severity of the injury.

The 22-year-old American leads the league with 20 points — five goals and 15 assists — in 10 games.

Drafted first overall by New Jersey in 2019, Hughes set career highs last season with 43 goals and 56 assists for 99 points in 78 games.

“It’s tough,” Devils forward Curtis Lazar said. “I mean you look at the start he’s had. I’m not going to lie, we were a little dejected when it happened. But, again, you’ve got to kind of turn the page when you realize he’s not coming back and say, ‘All right, next man up.’ ”

— With files from AP.

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